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Zimbabwe tour a test of our progress, says Mushfiqur

Mohammad Isam

April 3, 2013

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Mushfiqur Rahim and Angelo Mathews with the trophy, Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 3rd ODI, Kandy, March 28, 2013
Mushfiqur Rahim said the absence of players due to injury spurred the rest of the squad to perform well in Sri Lanka © AFP
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Series/Tournaments: Bangladesh tour of Zimbabwe
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Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim said that his side's progress can be measured by their performance in the forthcoming tour to Zimbabwe. This is the first time that Mushfiqur will lead the side against the lesser-ranked opposition and he stressed on the importance of the tour for the team.

"How far we have improved as a team can be determined in Zimbabwe," Mushfiqur said after Bangladesh arrived after their tour of Sri Lanka. "We are ready to take up the challenge. We don't have a good record in Harare where we lost the Test match in 2011. It is our duty to change the record, by taking forward the consistency that we have found in Sri Lanka."

Bangladesh play two Tests, three ODIs and two Twenty20s in a month-long tour which starts on April 17. There will be a short camp ahead of the tour, although no practice matches have been scheduled so far. Bangladesh have never won a Test in Zimbabwe, losing four of the five matches played there. The defeat in Harare in 2011 cost Shakib Al Hasan his captaincy. Their ODI record is better with 12 wins in 27 matches played in Zimbabwe.

The team was given a warm welcome on their return to Dhaka - a reaction to the drawn Test in Galle and the 1-1 draw in the ODI series - and the results look significant given the number of players who have suffered injuries since February. Mushfiqur said the absence of key players spurred on those who were fit to play.

"We lost players at the start of the series and were told that we hardly have a chance of doing well, with a second-string side," he said. "We were keen to do well as a result. So we were doubly motivated."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

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Posted by britishcricketfan on (April 4, 2013, 14:29 GMT)

Shahadat Hossain must not be picked again!!!! BNG have mashrafe, rubel, shafiul, nazmul, abul, ziuar to pick from for pace bowlers. i think f.reza could be a decent opening bowler meanwhile may be taskin ahmed should be tried in t20 only.

i think jahrul and tamim should open in tests, but anamul should open in ODI's instead of jahrul. mominul should continue in the team due to his ability to rotate strike. marshall and the returning nayeem should offer good options for test team.

one issue to sort out though, who should be left out of test team at the expense of shakib (if fit)? i think maybe riyad cos his batting form has been poor while he hasnt picked up too many wickets either...

Posted by hasib9 on (April 4, 2013, 13:22 GMT)

Zim's weakness is spin, even on fast bowling tracks. They don't have Andy or Grant Flowers any more. I would like to see Razzak, Gazi, Shakib, & Musharraf in the test squad. Razzak has become a better bowler and has always been Zim's nightmare. I would like to see him return to test cricket and improve his figures. Nafees also has a great record against Zim so keep him for tests and ODIs. If Shafiul and Nazmul aren't fit, experiment with young fast bowlers. No more Abul, Rubel, Shahadat, or Jahurul; no matter if they are the best friends of the selectors. Jahurul's list a average is 21 after 65 innings. How many more innings does a player have to play to prove he is not international caliber?

Posted by The_Ashes on (April 4, 2013, 12:13 GMT)

Bangladesh needs to win this 2-0 and 3-0 because for some reason if Bangladesh win 3-0 away to Zimbabwe they only get 2 rating points whereas when West Indies beat Zimbabwe at home 3-0 they got more rating points despite being ranked higher than Bangladesh. This just proves how flawed and unjust the team rankings are in Cricket and Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are 'always' meant to be in the bottom :)

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 20:29 GMT)

Few thoughts: Nayem Islam should only be selected for TEST. His strike rate and stroke making is worse in ODIs and T20s.

Razzak Deserves another chance in Test arena. He was the one of highest wicket taker in last premier league.

Spin will be key against Zimbabwe series. But we need supports from quick bowlers. Shadat should be ruled out any format. so do Abul Hasan. First bowling coach is to be hired immediately. Better have Waqar or Aqib Javed as bowling coach!

Best of luck Bangladesh

Posted by SarfBD on (April 3, 2013, 17:31 GMT)

This is going to be very very tough tour and a real test of character. Whenever the odds are in Bangladesh's favor, the panic buttoned is switched on and Bangladesh seems to lose the plot. We have seen it thrice in last three series: Asia cup final, 1st home Test vs WI and 3rd ODI vs SL. Luckily, last time Bangladesh made it through. I hope seniors will show them the way. But unfortunately Mahmudullah is going through a lean patch, Shakib will miss the tour and Tamim and Mahrafe are not fit yet. If fit, Enamul jr. should play the Test series ahead of other left arm spinners. To be honest, we don't have quality seamers. So, selectors have very little to do here. I am not so sure that either Shafiul or Taskin could do better in place of Rubel or Hasan.

Posted by British_North_America on (April 3, 2013, 17:18 GMT)

Nazmul Hossen is the most effective bowler of Bangladesh.He should be an automatic choice if he is fit.

Posted by   on (April 3, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

BD selectors are doing awful job. Some players don't even qualify to make it to the national team. I think it is time to drop Shadat Hossain, Rubel Hussain, Abu Hasan. They hardly take wickets in a test cricket and are pretty expensinve in a ODI & T20. BD selectors must find fast bowlers who are doing well in a domestic cricket and can take wickets. In a test cricket, BD should pick Robiul and two more pace bowlers from domestic cricket. In ODI & T20 BD must stick with Masrafee & Shafiul. Also, not all players are good for every single format, pickiing a wrong player for wrong format has become habit of BD selectors. Cricketing talent should be given higher priority than experiences otherwise selectors will be making the same mistakes over and over.

Posted by Fogu on (April 3, 2013, 14:20 GMT)

There is nothing easy about this tour AzAb12754. Zimbabwe will surely prepare a fast pitch where they are stronger than BD at this moment. BD has difficulty against fast bowling on a good fast pitch as evidenced by their history. BD has terrible fast bowlers at the moment. BD has everything to lose and not much to gain from this tour. If they win, they are exoected to, if they lose, all the momentum of the pst two years will be lost and critics will have a field day. I am hoping for a more disciplined batting and bowling from BD. Go Tigers!

Posted by amhagers on (April 3, 2013, 12:59 GMT)

... Furthermore poor tour planning is nothing new for BCB: 1. in Feb 2010 BD toured NZ without a single practice match: the condition in NZ is quite opposite and BD players have rare chance to play in these type of condition. Thanks for unsual resistance of BD batsmen to avoid greater humaliation. 2. Again in 2010 BD went for England test series in early summer (adverse cold condition even for a powerful subcontent team, while BD is still developing) in the middle they came back to June hot SL condition for Aisa Cup in, and then go back to ENG (thans God it's English summer!) for ODI series. Still they manage a win. Just consider temp and dryness change apart from travel distance. There are hundreds of such examples. May be enough for a professional team, but not for a team that is settling down and each of its failure is glass.

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