Bangladesh tour to Zimbabwe 2013 April 10, 2013

Bangladesh, Zimbabwe begin bottom-of-the-table scrap

A scrappy series between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will be an important indicator of the health of Test cricket
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In a year of storied rivalries, one contest that is unlikely to turn too many heads will begin shortly. Bangladesh versus Zimbabwe is a bottom-of-the-table scrap, an unglamorous match-up that is unlikely to be remembered for too long. The nine previous Tests have thrown up some uneven battles but the eagerness to gain bragging rights in Zimbabwean conditions and Bangladesh's recent form will make it an even contest.

Since their 130-run loss to Zimbabwe in Harare more than two years ago, Bangladesh have drawn two out of eight Tests. It is a marked improvement, and a better record than Zimbabwe, who lost all five Tests during the same period, including two against West Indies last month. Around the same time as Zimbabwe's West Indies tour, Bangladesh were making Sri Lanka sweat in their backyard.

Shakib Al Hasan's return is a major boost for the visitors, too. The allrounder will probably play as a batsman in the first Test, but it is unlikely that he can be kept out of action as a bowler for long. Tamim Iqbal could also recover in time for the first Test, while the competition for the other opening batsman's position will help Bangladesh. A settled middle-order and some good spinners are their other strong areas.

But Zimbabwe have a chance to hit back through Bangladesh's weakness - pace bowling. Rubel Hossain, Shahadat Hossain, Robiul Islam and Sajidul Islam are not automatic choices and in Harare, where the surface is hard and offers true bounce, the home side could start well against a weak new-ball attack. They already have a 3-0 record in three Test matches against Bangladesh at the venue, where both Tests will be played.

In previous Tests, Bangladesh have struggled to handle the Zimbabwe pace bowlers and even newcomers like Brian Vitori and Kyle Jarvis have used pace and seam movement to good effect. Over the last two years, however, the perception about them being poor players of pace has changed. By failing and succeeding against pace bowlers from West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, although in sub-continental conditions, they have learned much to take to Harare.

The visitors will be eager to live up to their competitive reputation. With the advances in their stature, especially those who have become regulars in various domestic Twenty20 leagues, the expectations from some high-profile Bangladeshi cricketers will be sky-high. The fans back home understand that the team has improved since their last series against Zimbabwe, and will expect a series win.

For the average Bangladesh fan, the disappointment of a loss to Zimbabwe is as acute as that of an India or Pakistan fan when the two arch-rivals play. While there is no cultural or historical reference to the contest between the two countries, there is plenty of competition. The grainy YouTube video where Mahmudullah and Brendan Taylor are in a sledging battle looks tame but their last encounter will lend some context to the off-field battle. The Zimbabwe pace bowlers were slighted when Tamim had branded Jarvis "ordinary" and reacted gleefully after the victory.

While the stakes will not be as high as the Ashes or the other summit battles, the series provides cricket with another dimension of sporting rivalry, which doesn't need the best of conditions, or the best players. A scrappy, less-than-perfect competition between two less-than-perfect teams will be an indication of how healthy cricket is around the edges.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on April 11, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    Completely agree with Muffinn Arman. Also notable that Bangladesh has performed much better than expectation in SriLanka with all those injury issues. Bangladesh cricket board needs to stick with same team combination to give them a fair chance to build maturity and temperament specially for the longer versions. BCB could run a Pace Hunt Program or something of that sort to find pace bowlers which seems to be big problem now for BD team. Getting specialized pace bowling coach from Australia or SA could be another good move. We were so unlucky that we could not get the best out of Mashrafe, so BCB needs to make sure this does not happen to upcoming talents like Takskin Ahmed.

  • sumon123 on April 15, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    BD's are very strong position in batting side if you compare with Zimbabwean bating order, but they're very poor in pace attack compare with Zimbabwean, BD's should find a solutions to solved that problem as soon as possible, b-coz pace attacking is a importing roll in cricket. Zimbabwe has some good pacer like brain, zervis, Mpopo, in that way zimbabwe is Favorit in this series. .... Any way wishing all the very best to Bangladesh cricket team. Good luck.

  • on April 15, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    its really nice to see indian fans are also backing Bangladesh Cricket Team. I'm really looking forward to this series. there has been lot of critics against Bangladesh regarding their test status. But all of a sudden after last Asia Cup, Bangladesh is a different team all together. I was really waiting for this period. BD was always good in Under 19 and there were plenty of talents. The difference between BD team in 2006/07 and 2012/13 is there are plenty of performers now and a reasonable pipeline. The home series against WI was a huge achievement for BD. But the away series against Srilanka was even better. on the other hand Zimbabwe had a real bad series against WI. the BD fans are expecting 2-0 in the test series and of course win the other series as well.that is added pressure to the team. but i believe, BD is now good enough to handle pressure. Best of luck to Bangladesh Cricket Team.

  • britishcricketfan on April 14, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    What's so "scrappy" about this series? Its a series between 2 of the weaker teams in world cricket, but it still should be a competitive tie nonetheless. Just because the series doesnt include Australia or India or someone else, it doesnt mean it is less important or less appealing. Millions of people in Bangladesh will be following it as will many people from Zimbabwe. More respect should be given to both sides, they've earned the right to play in Tests despite what some people may say.

  • on April 14, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    It's a good battle to look forward to. Zimbabwe doesn't have the best players nor does Bangladesh but when the two meet, it's always a tussle. After their last meet up, Bangladesh have been on a sort of impressive run duking it out with Sri Lanka and West Indies. I doubt that will be important heading into this one, the last time Bangladesh got beaten, they had demolished New Zealand 4-0 (ODIs). The main weakness of Bangladesh cricket is uncontrolled ambition. When they play against Zimbabwe, it's as if they want to make a point. They go into battle too cocky and by the time they realize Zimbabwe is not a pushover (for them), it's usually too late to do anything. Last tour Tamim got too vocal, and they were embarrassed, losing all test matches played including the warm up games. This series will be a little bit different, I see Bangladesh fighting harder but I don't see them winning the series.

  • Captainman on April 12, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    Bangladesh have better spinners and batsman than Zimbabwe but Zimbabwe have better fielders and fast bowlers than Bangladesh. Tamim, Shahriar, Ash, Shakib, Rahim, Nasir, Mahmudullah, Gazi, Sajidul, Rubel and Enamul. 7 batsman which is plenty plus 5 main bowlers a good balance and no excuses from us shall we lose.

  • TM on April 12, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    As an indian fa im intrested in this series as it will show how bangladesh hve much more class than zimbabwe and theyre ready to play the top teams. all BD need is one 140k qnd one 135 k bowler to become a force my team for BD in the future: 1)tamim2)ashraful 3)anamul haque 4)shakib 5)monimul haque 6)nasir 7)mushfiqur 8)gazi 9) fast bowler 10 fast bowler 11) fast bowler I am not sure about mahmadullah feel hes not a good enough batter or bowler (eg samit patel) good ODI player

  • Bowlersbackdrive on April 12, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    Considering the dimension of sporting rivalry with the bat, I like the comment of Shahid Afridi most. He said after coming back in the team getting scored few runs before last WC, "I started to score runs, when I started to respect the bowlers again". Tamim should keep that quote in mind. We all know if he determines, he can change completion of the game and of himself as well. I think very few players in the history, scored ton in Lords, by saying it "I will not go back this time without writing my name on the honor board" before the day of the match to be played.

  • on April 12, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    BD's batting order needs to be re-shuffled to produce the best results in a test cricket. I think following order 1) Tamim 2) Ashraful 3) Nasir 4) Shakib 5) Mominul 6) Musfiq 7) Mahmud will produce better results. I really think Nasir should bat at 3 to stabilize the innings if top 2 batsmans fail. Shakib should bat at 4 as he had done well when he first started to play for national team. Mushy/Mahmud play better if they bat down the order rather than bat top of the order. If Tamim can not go then Nafees should take his place. Combination of Robiul, Sajedul, Ghazi, Enamul will have more balance attack rather than including Shadat/Rubel. Selectors/coaching staff/captain all need to think, same players same batting order, same bowling lineup will produce same results. If you wannna go for win the you must make some changes otherwise results will be same.

  • The_Ashes on April 12, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    I doubt Bangladesh can win 2-0 in the test series that's a bit too much in that format for them. 1-0 will be terrific but we cannot lose any ODI or T20 matches.

  • on April 11, 2013, 3:52 GMT

    Completely agree with Muffinn Arman. Also notable that Bangladesh has performed much better than expectation in SriLanka with all those injury issues. Bangladesh cricket board needs to stick with same team combination to give them a fair chance to build maturity and temperament specially for the longer versions. BCB could run a Pace Hunt Program or something of that sort to find pace bowlers which seems to be big problem now for BD team. Getting specialized pace bowling coach from Australia or SA could be another good move. We were so unlucky that we could not get the best out of Mashrafe, so BCB needs to make sure this does not happen to upcoming talents like Takskin Ahmed.

  • sumon123 on April 15, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    BD's are very strong position in batting side if you compare with Zimbabwean bating order, but they're very poor in pace attack compare with Zimbabwean, BD's should find a solutions to solved that problem as soon as possible, b-coz pace attacking is a importing roll in cricket. Zimbabwe has some good pacer like brain, zervis, Mpopo, in that way zimbabwe is Favorit in this series. .... Any way wishing all the very best to Bangladesh cricket team. Good luck.

  • on April 15, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    its really nice to see indian fans are also backing Bangladesh Cricket Team. I'm really looking forward to this series. there has been lot of critics against Bangladesh regarding their test status. But all of a sudden after last Asia Cup, Bangladesh is a different team all together. I was really waiting for this period. BD was always good in Under 19 and there were plenty of talents. The difference between BD team in 2006/07 and 2012/13 is there are plenty of performers now and a reasonable pipeline. The home series against WI was a huge achievement for BD. But the away series against Srilanka was even better. on the other hand Zimbabwe had a real bad series against WI. the BD fans are expecting 2-0 in the test series and of course win the other series as well.that is added pressure to the team. but i believe, BD is now good enough to handle pressure. Best of luck to Bangladesh Cricket Team.

  • britishcricketfan on April 14, 2013, 9:09 GMT

    What's so "scrappy" about this series? Its a series between 2 of the weaker teams in world cricket, but it still should be a competitive tie nonetheless. Just because the series doesnt include Australia or India or someone else, it doesnt mean it is less important or less appealing. Millions of people in Bangladesh will be following it as will many people from Zimbabwe. More respect should be given to both sides, they've earned the right to play in Tests despite what some people may say.

  • on April 14, 2013, 6:44 GMT

    It's a good battle to look forward to. Zimbabwe doesn't have the best players nor does Bangladesh but when the two meet, it's always a tussle. After their last meet up, Bangladesh have been on a sort of impressive run duking it out with Sri Lanka and West Indies. I doubt that will be important heading into this one, the last time Bangladesh got beaten, they had demolished New Zealand 4-0 (ODIs). The main weakness of Bangladesh cricket is uncontrolled ambition. When they play against Zimbabwe, it's as if they want to make a point. They go into battle too cocky and by the time they realize Zimbabwe is not a pushover (for them), it's usually too late to do anything. Last tour Tamim got too vocal, and they were embarrassed, losing all test matches played including the warm up games. This series will be a little bit different, I see Bangladesh fighting harder but I don't see them winning the series.

  • Captainman on April 12, 2013, 23:38 GMT

    Bangladesh have better spinners and batsman than Zimbabwe but Zimbabwe have better fielders and fast bowlers than Bangladesh. Tamim, Shahriar, Ash, Shakib, Rahim, Nasir, Mahmudullah, Gazi, Sajidul, Rubel and Enamul. 7 batsman which is plenty plus 5 main bowlers a good balance and no excuses from us shall we lose.

  • TM on April 12, 2013, 22:22 GMT

    As an indian fa im intrested in this series as it will show how bangladesh hve much more class than zimbabwe and theyre ready to play the top teams. all BD need is one 140k qnd one 135 k bowler to become a force my team for BD in the future: 1)tamim2)ashraful 3)anamul haque 4)shakib 5)monimul haque 6)nasir 7)mushfiqur 8)gazi 9) fast bowler 10 fast bowler 11) fast bowler I am not sure about mahmadullah feel hes not a good enough batter or bowler (eg samit patel) good ODI player

  • Bowlersbackdrive on April 12, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    Considering the dimension of sporting rivalry with the bat, I like the comment of Shahid Afridi most. He said after coming back in the team getting scored few runs before last WC, "I started to score runs, when I started to respect the bowlers again". Tamim should keep that quote in mind. We all know if he determines, he can change completion of the game and of himself as well. I think very few players in the history, scored ton in Lords, by saying it "I will not go back this time without writing my name on the honor board" before the day of the match to be played.

  • on April 12, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    BD's batting order needs to be re-shuffled to produce the best results in a test cricket. I think following order 1) Tamim 2) Ashraful 3) Nasir 4) Shakib 5) Mominul 6) Musfiq 7) Mahmud will produce better results. I really think Nasir should bat at 3 to stabilize the innings if top 2 batsmans fail. Shakib should bat at 4 as he had done well when he first started to play for national team. Mushy/Mahmud play better if they bat down the order rather than bat top of the order. If Tamim can not go then Nafees should take his place. Combination of Robiul, Sajedul, Ghazi, Enamul will have more balance attack rather than including Shadat/Rubel. Selectors/coaching staff/captain all need to think, same players same batting order, same bowling lineup will produce same results. If you wannna go for win the you must make some changes otherwise results will be same.

  • The_Ashes on April 12, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    I doubt Bangladesh can win 2-0 in the test series that's a bit too much in that format for them. 1-0 will be terrific but we cannot lose any ODI or T20 matches.

  • on April 12, 2013, 11:50 GMT

    This is BD's chance to cement the fact that they are a much improved team than what they were in the past. Skepticism about their ability will remain unchanged unless they prove something solid here. Pressure will be on them and it will be interesting to see how they will meet up that challenge. Pace attack and injury management are two of their biggest worries. One skill all players need to get trained at as part of their game is how to not get injured. I wonder if there is such scheme in place. It isn't anymore, "normal and a part of the game to get injured " . There is better technology, preventive method and know-how available now and the incidence of injury can be limited to a miniscule number. As far as pace bowling goes, speed is one big element but it may not be the only element to focus on. There is lot more to pace bowling than just speed. You don't have to have the fastest bowler (well it can be a plus) in the planet to help you win games. I will be worried about Shahadat.

  • shobhit_nigam on April 12, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    We are speaking of BD's test against ZIM's pace battery etc, however it would be also a test of ZIM's performance in their own backyard. They certainly have middle order problems. Sibanda looked decent as an opening batsman but the way Roach bowled him out on a full delivery can create doubts in anyone's mind about his foot-movement. It will be certainly an interesting series, not just a contest of bat & bowl, but also a contest of temperament. Being an Indian my money goes to the neighboring Asian country, but having been following ZIM cricket for sometime one does feel a good win here would bring more evenness to the game.

  • on April 12, 2013, 1:50 GMT

    i think bd has improved a lot specially for last 2 yrs they are quiet consistant. we have now good settle middle order. i reckon bd squad should be 1.tamim 2.shariar 3. ashraful 4.shakib 5.musfiq 6.nasir 7.mahmudullah. 8.shohag gazi 9.enmul haque 10. rubel hussain 11. sajedul haque

  • on April 11, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    I think zim will be white wash this time. coz this bd team is much stronger and efficient enough to perform a better cricket. we saw last 2 serise against srilanka and West indis they played really good. mosfik the new captain is very good and know how to manage this team. so good luck bd tiger.

  • fariha_loves-afridi on April 11, 2013, 14:34 GMT

    My team for the first test: tamim,jahurul,ashraful,mominul,shakib,nasir,mushfiq,mahmudullah,gazi,robiul,rubel

  • Captainman on April 11, 2013, 11:28 GMT

    Great to see some fans of other teams especially Indians interested in a low key series thanks for the support no need to be worried about it :)

  • SarfBD on April 11, 2013, 9:42 GMT

    Some fans are assuming that Bangladesh have no chance in seaming condition against Zimbabwe. Surely, they have drawn conclusion from BD's recent performance against SL. But with all due respect to ZIM, I want to mention that ZIM do not have the quality of SL batsmen who fought hard in Australia. The pitches in SL were either flat or totally spin friendly. Even SL bowlers struggled there. Kula and Eranga got 5 and 6 wickets respectively and rest of the seamers (Mathews, Lakmal and Thirimanne) went wicketless. Interestingly, only two seamers had average within 30 and both of them from Bangladesh: Robiul (4 wickets @ 23.5), Rubel (2 wickets @30.5). So, even in seaming condition, it is going to be a good contest. we have quite a few match winners and not dependent on one or two players. Tigers need to remain focused and show respect to the opponent.

  • on April 11, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    Bangladesh doesn't stand a chance against Zimbabwe in Zim. Zimbabwe can pick under prepared pitches for the tests like they did in the last tour in the prep matches. With the current BD set up, zim has almost no chance of winning a test series in Bangladesh. So under prepared pitches are only hope.

  • mrgupta on April 11, 2013, 7:37 GMT

    Since BD lost to Zim, with almost the same team which will be playing in Harare on 17th Apr, Zim has lost 5 and Won 0, BD has lost 6 and Won 0. The only significant difference is probably BD taking first inning lead over SL in the first test of their last series. I think both these teams are tough for each other on their home grounds. Zim cannot beat BD in BD that's quite certain (I will be surprised if they do) and BD will definitely find it hard to compete with Zim in Harare. If Zim prepares a fast track for the 2 tests then it will be an interesting contest, Else BD is clearly the favorite here specially with Shakib coming back.

  • on April 11, 2013, 5:01 GMT

    My squad for the 1st Test (considered that some players being injured): 1.Tamim, 2. Jahurul, 3. Asraful, 4. Mominul, 5. Sakib, 6. Musfiqur, 7. Nasir, 8. Shohag, 9. Robiul, 10. Sajidul, 11. Rubel/Enamul. (7-batsman+4-Bowlers+2-alrounder)...!!

  • Tal_Botvinnik on April 11, 2013, 2:46 GMT

    The Zimbabweans have a good pace battery. BD Boys are weak against pace. BD Have left arm tweakers. ZIm is weak against spin. But Pitches won't assist spin. therefore Zimbabweans shalt win.

  • BanCricFan on April 11, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    Keep Calm and win all matches :) Best wishes

  • TheRisingTeam on April 10, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    Both Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are not even bothered where they are ranked because they are use to it and know they will just stay there with the amount of test matches they play. In fact, Zimbabwe are unranked because of "insufficient matches" so that tells you everything about Cricket rankings.

  • on April 10, 2013, 21:10 GMT

    Whoever is saying Mahmudullah should be sacked.. please dont! He is one of the senior and must remain in line up to save the day and that is what he does best. Sure, here and there he would under perform but talent like him Ashraful needs to be given chances over and over just b/c they will deliver. Also, we cant forget how young BD team is. You got to give them more time and trust. SriLanka is probably the most successful outside of Subcontinent. So dont write off the tiger just yet.. cuz great things will come no matter how small the package is .. Cricket team developement is like a great test match.."PATIENCE"

  • rockpundit on April 10, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    Mohammed Isam, your writing has improved as much as Bangladesh's batting, a great read!

  • Warm_Coffee on April 10, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    Should've really been 3 test matches instead of 2.

  • on April 10, 2013, 19:13 GMT

    The curator has made the competition and rivalry much higher on paper than on the field LOL, well we ll have to say good writing, so much Drama. Bangladesh, is better than Zimbawe enuf said

  • Sadequl on April 10, 2013, 19:07 GMT

    All I would like to say to our BD boys now is "very best wishes from all of us" cause when ever we fans get a bit over exited on their performances then mostly they let us down. So can't expect too much from them to get dishearten again in this series too. Just don't humiliate us again as you did in world cup against WI & SA in our own field. Hope to see you guys will play your natural games to get some positive results out of the whole series to make us happy & proud on new Bengali year's eve. "Shuvo hok nobo borsho" happy Bengali new year to our little tigers.

  • sameer111111 on April 10, 2013, 17:25 GMT

    Outside the subcontinent, Bangladesh stands no chance. In the last few years they have improved in ODIs, but the same can't be said about tests. The drawn test against Sri Lanka would have been drawn even if the match had been played for 8 days. I predict 2-0 to Zimbabwe.

  • M_Rakibul_Islam on April 10, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    @ Annz N Dipz Love: Mashrafi has fitness problem since 2009. He had faced about 8/9 operations in his knees in last 10 years. So he's not fit for Tests now. But he may b available for ODIs & T20s if he will recover 4m his ankle injury. @ Matt Dingani Zulu: Yeah. Like Border-Gavaskar or Pataudi trophy, both boards can introduce a test trophy. But what will b the name? Andy Flower-Mohammad Rafique Trophy? or Bashar-Streak cup? Anyway, it'll b low profile trophy by quality of cricket.

  • TheRisingTeam on April 10, 2013, 15:35 GMT

    I agree! overconfidence will be a huge setback for Bangladesh team. Our players last time they toured Zimbabwe in 11 for a test and one-day series, Zimbabwe taught Bangladesh a huge lesson. But some of our players we have heard from in the last week or so i.e. Nasir or the captain Rahim are taking this very seriously which is great to see. Even our management are making sure Shakib, Tamim etc are ready to play because they cannot afford to lose these series. 2-0 is a bit too much for Bangladesh in tests as we have still a long way to go in that format, 1-0 will be fine but we must win all the ODI matches.

  • on April 10, 2013, 15:19 GMT

    Talking from the Indian state of West Bengal, a lot of us too like following what our Bengali brothers are doing. From a neutral perspective we can say that Bangladesh has a lot of talent and potential. However they need to find out how to be more consistent. Different players like Shakib, Tamim , Nasir, Mushfiqur are match winners on their own right but more often than not, they play in bits and parts. They all or at least 3-4 players need to come good at the same time for them to win matches consistently. India used to to have a similar issue abroad throughout the 90s before their turnaround in the early 2000s under Sourav. Bangladesh needs their match winners to fire together in the same match if they want to win tests something which we saw consistently in the Asia Cup'12. Also they need to find atleast one good fast bowler as spin alone cannot take 20 wickets abroad! Wonder what happened to Mortaza!

  • on April 10, 2013, 15:15 GMT

    Good luck Bangladesh!!!!!!Dont be overconfident!!!!

  • on April 10, 2013, 15:06 GMT

    Zim n Bangladesh should introduce their own Ashes(like) trophy.l always enjoy their matches and rivarly.anyway its gonna be a exciting series.Hopefully Zim wins!!!!!!!

  • SarfBD on April 10, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    On paper. Bangladesh has a stable middle order and a quality spin attack. Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah, Nasir, Ashraful all are proven match winners for Bangladesh. Though Mahmudullah is not in his best form, you can't simply write him off. Shohag is becoming a very good spinner and Enamul Jr. is very experienced customer with some points to prove. If Tamim can play, that will be a huge boost for us. Pace attack is surely below par, but by law of average, there is always some chance for them to click. Zimbabwe's WI tour shows their weakness against spinners, which is Bangladesh's strength. On head to head, Bangladesh will be ahead, but overconfidence and pressure from expectation are two major things to deal with. I hope tigers won't take their opponents lightly like the previous tour and play their best game. Show respect and fight hard. Good luck.

  • on April 10, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    just hope the batting can come together to buffer the weak pace bowling attack of the tigers..shohag gazi's offspin will be a real test for the zimbabwe batsman to counter.Mahmadullah has to prove himself in this series...otherwise he should be sacked as a vice captain for the younger players such as Mominul to follow..hope the tigers thrash the zimbabwe side this series..

  • Fogu on April 10, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    @Fuad_bs - The writer is very good at laying out the facts and is always very objective. He does not view the games through the eyes of a fan. We fans get to go overboard with our joy as well as disappointments. Isam has always provided excellent, objective analysis of BD games. He is correct in that BD has a difficult challenge ahead of us and if we do not handle Zim fast bowling well, we will be in trouble. He is also correct is assessing our fast bowling weakness. Even though BD is a stronger side than Zim at this stage, that is not saying much. BD should win the series if Batsmen focus and display better temperament and fast bowlers show discipline in holding their line and length. Otherwise this may be a huge setback.

  • Energetic. on April 10, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    If Bangladesh play to their best then they will be too much for Zimbabwe in all forms. They cannot play spin well and our batting line-up is far stronger than theirs. I can only see 2-0 in favour of Bangladesh.

  • ibbani on April 10, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    @ Fuad_bs - Theory is different and practical is different. you can score a century and take hattrick in theory. But applying it in the game and getting runs and wickets is different. BD is not an improved side when playing outside sub-continent. The report is not hypothetically based on BD, but based on past expereince and performance only. ONLY if BD can turn the tables,this report cna be changed, but it is for sure that they will get a 2-0 beating in tests.

  • The_Ashes on April 10, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    As long as Bangladesh don't take this lightly then there's a massive chance for them but on wickets which are expected to be a bit faster and bouncier, it will be a big challenge for our lads. Our batting is very strong now so I expect big scores, its the bowling I'm concerned about. Since Shakib is unlikely to bowl I'm assuming Enamul Haque jr will be playing first time in a long time. As long as Bangladesh play really well then I honestly cannot see Zimbabwe coming close this time but the team must hold onto their guard at all times.

  • CricketFan365 on April 10, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    The contest will be fierce. Zim got better pace attack, BD got better spin attack. I would rank BD's batting higher than Zim's batting. So BD got overall advantage despite playing on Zim's den. Zarvis is good, but not so good as Tino Best or Fidel Edwards who ripped off BD's batting recently with their express fast bowling in just one session. On the other hand, Bangladeshis spin got even better with the presents of Gazi and Zim don't play spin well as evident from recent WI tour. BD should win the series if not easily.

  • banglafan on April 10, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    The competition will be fierce. Hopefully there will be enough people in Harare watching the matches.

  • Fuad_bs on April 10, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    From previous post: So one weak side from Bangladesh can be overshadowed by other strong sides.

  • Fuad_bs on April 10, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    This time the picture is totally different. The writer seems to be giving opinion hypothetically based on past but that only seems good in a business environment rather than cricket environment. What you do yesterday won't won't be the same today. I will not say Zimbabwe is a weak team or is not able to beat Bangladesh, rather I would like to say that Bangladesh has been much better to beat any stronger team on their own grounds because of the improvement from the last two years. Theoretically Bangladesh is supposed to win all two tests or at least draw in both the two tests but yet anything can happen in cricket as we always see so. Weak pace bowling side of Bangladesh won't take away match from Bangladesh as we also have one of the bests spin bowing side in the world. Moreover, Zimbabwe bowlers are supposed to find it a hard time to deal with batsman like Tamim, Mushfiq, Nasir, Mahmadullah, Ashraful and some other top batsman who are just good enough to put a huge total against Zimba

  • Fuad_bs on April 10, 2013, 9:48 GMT

    This time the picture is totally different. The writer seems to be giving opinion hypothetically based on past but that only seems good in a business environment rather than cricket environment. What you do yesterday won't won't be the same today. I will not say Zimbabwe is a weak team or is not able to beat Bangladesh, rather I would like to say that Bangladesh has been much better to beat any stronger team on their own grounds because of the improvement from the last two years. Theoretically Bangladesh is supposed to win all two tests or at least draw in both the two tests but yet anything can happen in cricket as we always see so. Weak pace bowling side of Bangladesh won't take away match from Bangladesh as we also have one of the bests spin bowing side in the world. Moreover, Zimbabwe bowlers are supposed to find it a hard time to deal with batsman like Tamim, Mushfiq, Nasir, Mahmadullah, Ashraful and some other top batsman who are just good enough to put a huge total against Zimba

  • Fuad_bs on April 10, 2013, 9:51 GMT

    From previous post: So one weak side from Bangladesh can be overshadowed by other strong sides.

  • banglafan on April 10, 2013, 9:56 GMT

    The competition will be fierce. Hopefully there will be enough people in Harare watching the matches.

  • CricketFan365 on April 10, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    The contest will be fierce. Zim got better pace attack, BD got better spin attack. I would rank BD's batting higher than Zim's batting. So BD got overall advantage despite playing on Zim's den. Zarvis is good, but not so good as Tino Best or Fidel Edwards who ripped off BD's batting recently with their express fast bowling in just one session. On the other hand, Bangladeshis spin got even better with the presents of Gazi and Zim don't play spin well as evident from recent WI tour. BD should win the series if not easily.

  • The_Ashes on April 10, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    As long as Bangladesh don't take this lightly then there's a massive chance for them but on wickets which are expected to be a bit faster and bouncier, it will be a big challenge for our lads. Our batting is very strong now so I expect big scores, its the bowling I'm concerned about. Since Shakib is unlikely to bowl I'm assuming Enamul Haque jr will be playing first time in a long time. As long as Bangladesh play really well then I honestly cannot see Zimbabwe coming close this time but the team must hold onto their guard at all times.

  • ibbani on April 10, 2013, 11:37 GMT

    @ Fuad_bs - Theory is different and practical is different. you can score a century and take hattrick in theory. But applying it in the game and getting runs and wickets is different. BD is not an improved side when playing outside sub-continent. The report is not hypothetically based on BD, but based on past expereince and performance only. ONLY if BD can turn the tables,this report cna be changed, but it is for sure that they will get a 2-0 beating in tests.

  • Energetic. on April 10, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    If Bangladesh play to their best then they will be too much for Zimbabwe in all forms. They cannot play spin well and our batting line-up is far stronger than theirs. I can only see 2-0 in favour of Bangladesh.

  • Fogu on April 10, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    @Fuad_bs - The writer is very good at laying out the facts and is always very objective. He does not view the games through the eyes of a fan. We fans get to go overboard with our joy as well as disappointments. Isam has always provided excellent, objective analysis of BD games. He is correct in that BD has a difficult challenge ahead of us and if we do not handle Zim fast bowling well, we will be in trouble. He is also correct is assessing our fast bowling weakness. Even though BD is a stronger side than Zim at this stage, that is not saying much. BD should win the series if Batsmen focus and display better temperament and fast bowlers show discipline in holding their line and length. Otherwise this may be a huge setback.

  • on April 10, 2013, 13:37 GMT

    just hope the batting can come together to buffer the weak pace bowling attack of the tigers..shohag gazi's offspin will be a real test for the zimbabwe batsman to counter.Mahmadullah has to prove himself in this series...otherwise he should be sacked as a vice captain for the younger players such as Mominul to follow..hope the tigers thrash the zimbabwe side this series..

  • SarfBD on April 10, 2013, 14:01 GMT

    On paper. Bangladesh has a stable middle order and a quality spin attack. Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah, Nasir, Ashraful all are proven match winners for Bangladesh. Though Mahmudullah is not in his best form, you can't simply write him off. Shohag is becoming a very good spinner and Enamul Jr. is very experienced customer with some points to prove. If Tamim can play, that will be a huge boost for us. Pace attack is surely below par, but by law of average, there is always some chance for them to click. Zimbabwe's WI tour shows their weakness against spinners, which is Bangladesh's strength. On head to head, Bangladesh will be ahead, but overconfidence and pressure from expectation are two major things to deal with. I hope tigers won't take their opponents lightly like the previous tour and play their best game. Show respect and fight hard. Good luck.