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August 1, 2011
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor believes his team could spring a few surprises on Bangladesh in the one-off Test which starts on Thursday, and also suggested that conditions in Harare would suit the Zimbabweans.
"It is great that we are coming back to play Tests and as we go into our first match the good thing is that our opponents don't quite know what to expect from us and we have a few surprises for them," said Taylor.
Zimbabwe have played 33 ODIs against Bangladesh since their Test suspension - including 14 in 2009 alone - with Bangladesh having dominated those games, winning 24 of them. Mohammad Ashraful is the only member of Bangladesh's squad to have played a Test against Zimbabwe, however, a situation Taylor is hoping work out in his team's favour.
"They have been playing over the years and they have always been improving, so have we behind the scenes," he said. "They know an awful lot about us in the one-day format of the game but they may not have the information they would have wanted as far as Test cricket is concerned, and we are looking to make good use of that."
Despite Bangladesh's supremacy over Zimbabwe in recent times, Taylor insisted there was little to separate the teams going into the Test, saying: "We will take each session as it comes and play positively with a winning mindset. We know they will be up for it and so will we and we are confident that if we play our best cricket this is a winnable match.
"They are a strong side especially when they are playing at home, but we are at home where we will make sure we put our conditions to good use. We should just make sure they are not as comfortable as they would want to be. We have a plan and if we stick to it we should win."
Zimbabwe will also be bolstered by the return of wicketkeeper Tatenda Taibu, one of their most experienced players and one of only two current Zimbabwe cricketers to have recorded a Test century. Taibu has not quite fully recovered from the thumb injury that kept him out of cricket since the World Cup earlier this year, but said he was fit enough to play in both the Test and the limited-overs series that follows.
"It's not fully healed but it is comfortable enough for me to play in the Test match and the ODIs as well," said Taibu. "It is a very important match and we will need all the resources we can get."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala