Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Harare

Can floored Bangladesh fight back?

The Preview by Mohammad Isam

April 24, 2013

Comments: 40 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

April 25-29, Harare
Start time 1000 (0800 GMT)

Brendan Taylor runs through to complete his second century of the match, Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, 1st Test, 4th day, Harare, April 20, 2013
Brendan Taylor was an unstoppable run machine in the first Test © Associated Press

Big Picture

Zimbabwe may not experience a change in their position (read Test rankings) in world cricket, but give them a series win against Bangladesh and they would walk away happily. They are 1-0 ahead in this particular contest, and have their rivals in the exact position they'd have wanted just over a week ago: questioning their ability against swing and seam, and with little time and opportunity to lift a crushed morale.

Brendan Taylor's personal build-up to this series has turned heads. Players who have trained with him have noticed a significant rise in intensity, and it resulted in a performance not many on both sides can forget. Also hard to forget would be the threat posed by Kyle Jarvis. The young pace bowler has been a much more skilled quick than the Jarvis Bangladesh faced in 2011. The contributions of Malcolm Waller, Graeme Cremer and Shingi Masakadza could easily be forgotten but they have done no harm to their chances of a future in the national team.

While Taylor will remain steadfast in his batting approach, he would like a few more from seniors like Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza and Elton Chigumbura. Also, it would be fair to give another chance to Timycen Maruma and Richmond Mutumbami though they couldn't match the performance of Keegan Meth, their fellow debutant in the first Test.

The 335-run defeat in the first Test couldn't have come at a worse time for Bangladesh, coming in a season in which they have made significant progress. It is hard to forget their showing in their last two series. They were in prime position to beat West Indies in a Test match in November, eventually beat them in a five-match ODI series in December and three months later went on to draw a Test in Sri Lanka and win an ODI there. Those were all justifiable claims for progress but when Bangladesh lose to Zimbabwe, things tend to go haywire.

How they respond in their selection for the second Test, and in their attitude towards Taylor and the swinging deliveries of Jarvis, Meth and Shingi, could define whether they get back on track or are derailed altogether. Bangladesh's fielding too needs a lift, and that could be an easier path to regain their shot confidence in the second Test.

Form guide

Bangladesh: LLDLL (most recent results first)
Zimbabwe: WLLLL

Players to watch

Malcolm Waller was Zimbabwe's second-best batsman in the first Test behind his captain. It was his busy 55 in the first innings that helped to get his side out of a rut. Waller is not a limited player but tends to limit his strokeplay according to the need of the hour. This should be more than encouraging for a batting line-up still not comfortable in its own skin.

In normal circumstances, Shakib Al Hasan would waltz past two low scores but this is a different setting altogether. The team lost by a huge margin, he didn't score nor pick up a wicket, and he has just returned from a lengthy injury lay-off. Not only does he have to shake off the cobwebs, but also help the team win a Test match. Whether the occasion will get to him or not remains to be seen.

Team news

There's hardly a reason to change the Zimbabwe team for the second Test. Kyle Jarvis had been battling a tight quadriceps muscle, forcing him to avoid bowling in the nets on Monday and Tuesday. But he bowled on Wednesday and is fine to play.

Zimbabwe (possible) 1 Timycen Maruma, 2 Vusi Sibanda, 3 Hamilton Masakadza, 4 Brendan Taylor (capt), 5 Richmond Mutumbami (wk), 6 Malcolm Waller, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Graeme Cremer, 9 Kyle Jarvis, 10 Keegan Meth, 11 Shingi Masakadza.

Not picking three seamers in the first Test was a blunder so, with Rubel Hossain ruled out due to a shoulder injury, they could go into this game with Sajidul Islam and Ziaur Rahman after Shafiul Islam's recovery from a side strain was deemed insufficient by the physio. The under-fire Mahmudullah could be replaced by Mominul Haque and if Tamim Iqbal returns, Shahriar Nafees would have to sit out.

Bangladesh (possible) 1 Jahurul Islam, 2 Tamim Iqbal/Shahriar Nafees, 3 Mohammad Ashraful, 4 Shakib Al Hasan, 5 Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 6 Mahmudullah/Mominul Haque, 7 Nasir Hossain, 8 Sohag Gazi, 9 Ziaur Rahman/Shafiul Islam, 10 Sajidul Islam, 11 Robiul Islam.

Pitch and conditions

The ground staff has had four days to prepare the pitch and it has rained on two of those so far. Taylor hoped it will be similar to the pitch they played on in the first Test but did say it might be a bit slower and will take a bit more turn. The weather is expected to be clear over the five days but cooler than it was during the first Test.

Stats and trivia

  • For the second time in its history, the Harare Sports Club will be hosting a second Test match in the space of eight days. The previous occasion was in 1999 when Zimbabwe played Sri Lanka
  • With his 273 runs in the first Test, Brendan Taylor has gone past Bashar as the highest run-getter in Bangladesh-Zimbabwe Tests. In the same vein, Enamul Haque jr is now the highest wicket-taker in these contests, going past Heath Streak's 20 wickets
  • A Taylor-like performance will allow Mohammad Ashraful to become the second Bangladesh player to reach the 3,000-run mark in Test cricket, after Habibul Bashar. He is 271 runs short of the milestone


"We just have to focus on day one. We don't want to look too far ahead. We know Bangladesh have players that can turn a game on its head in a session or two so we just back our skills, have a clear mindset and look after our bodies."Brendan Taylor, the Zimbabwe captain

"Zimbabwe are a tough opponent, we always knew that. Although we lost the game we are not defeated. I promise everyone back home in Bangladesh that the players will be doing everything they can to fix it."
Bangladesh coach Shane Jurgensen

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

RSS Feeds: Mohammad Isam

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Shamim-Ahmed on (April 25, 2013, 6:27 GMT)

Waiting for a good test match. And hope Bangladesh will show their class.

Posted by SportyKid97 on (April 24, 2013, 22:16 GMT)

I really hope that Enamul is not ruled out of this match just so Bangladesh could play one more pacer... I don't see Zia close to being included in this match as he is not really fit for tests as off yet.. I would like to see Sajidul/Shahadat replace Rubel with everything else the same.. I would recommend the change of Mominul for Shakib as Shakib still seems to be a bit sloppy with the injury.. Tamim should find himself a place but letting Nafees have another go could be better.. Mahmudullah at 6 would be a great choice.

Important: We scored 638 vs a healthy SL bowling lineup without Shakib and Tamim.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 21:24 GMT)

I hope the probable lineup is a complete joke. Enamul Haque Jr. returned to International cricket after 3 years approximately and straight off the bat he took 3 wickets in the first innings. Now that they made a mistake upfront not selecting 3 pacers for the first test, they now are thinking of including a bowler in place of Enamul... That is a complete unfairness to a spinner of his caliber.. I was truly devastated to see Gazi bowl only about 16-21 overs in the first innings... I am really disappointing with this decision... Coming into the decision of selecting the batting lineup.. It would be great to see Mahmudullah being pushed down to No.6 as that's his usual spot and he has ha much of his success in that position.. Shakib should completely be opted out of this match.. He had less than rare success in the first match.. His batting was below par. He should comeback after being fully fit.. Nafees should be given another chance while Mominul needs to replace Shakib..

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 20:27 GMT)

Cmon guys Zimbabwe always seem to play their best cricket against Bangladesh. Would atleast want to see Bangladesh score more than 150 lol. Hopefully that other match will get tje Bangladeshi fighting spirit back!

Posted by Htc-Android on (April 24, 2013, 20:27 GMT)

I expect a better batting performance from Zim top order batsman. Right now they are too over reliant on taylors batting. If taylor fails then they will be in trouble. So the top order batsman need to lift their game up and set up a good platform for zimbabwe. Drop maruma and bring williams into the side. He is an experienced player. They should open the innings with mazagadza. My team X1 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Vusi Sibanda, 3 Sean Williams, 4 Brendan Taylor (capt), 5 Richmond Mutumbami (wk), 6 Malcolm Waller, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Graeme Cremer, 9 Kyle Jarvis, 10 Keegan Meth, 11 Shingi Masakadza.

Posted by TigerRoars on (April 24, 2013, 19:53 GMT)

Bangladesh has 3 wicket-taking spinners (Shakib, Enamul, and Gazi) and 1 wicket-taking pacer (Robiul). However, the captain needs to set an attacking field to allow them to strike. I felt that ZIM would have scored at least 300 runs less if Mushfiqur chose to attack and the fielders did not drop so many catches. Unless these change, Bangladesh will lose again, despite being the better side on paper.

Posted by Albert_cambell on (April 24, 2013, 19:51 GMT)

All the best zimbabwe. Hammer these talking tigers.

Posted by rony1008 on (April 24, 2013, 18:10 GMT)

Bangladesh will make another mistake if they pick Zia. He is not a fast bowler just a slow medium. I can't believe Bangladesh think tank is thinking of picking him instead of Shafiul. After what happened in the first test, if they pick 2 and half pace bowlers, I think they deserve to loose this test too. And the sole responsibility will on the the team management who even think not picking at least 3 genuine pace bowlers.

Posted by Dhutugemunu on (April 24, 2013, 17:04 GMT)

@ Nduru; So you believe that the BD cricket is going backwards in terms of development. In your comment you said that "one step forward two steps backwards manner". That means one step backward at each time. lol

Posted by Shajadul on (April 24, 2013, 16:07 GMT)

Hope BD does well and apply their merit. At least a win will make this series a draw. Go tigers....

Posted by ostad on (April 24, 2013, 15:38 GMT)

Bangladesh always can fight back.If Bangladesh can correct half of their mistakes they did in previous Test.Any batting pair up to middle order can build innings. A little careful fielding can change the whole game. Now it is the high time for Bangladesh Cricket Board to declare some bonus for the batman who can stay in the crease longest time even without a run.

Posted by Ain_EL_Sabet on (April 24, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

It doesnt make sense to play test without having some wicket takers in the team ! If your team/squad does not have 2/3 effective wicket taking ballers for the format that requires taking 20 wickets then this team is not eligible for test cricket. So far Bangladesh never have come up with a test team/squad with couple of genuine wicket takers. This series for example, only one baller Robiul Islam seems to have the quality and the rest of other ballers seems to depend on getting lucky occasionally they dont seem to be effective . Until Bangladesh produce some effective pacers and spinners , they would not form a proper test squad and until then Bd is not ready for test cricket. I am a Bangladeshi by the way .

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 14:45 GMT)

Bangladesh players lack the mental strength to fight back. The next test will be a sad repeat of the first. Two collapses in the same test against a not so great bowling attack, is unpardonable. Poor shot selection, careless run outs speaks of the kind of team spirit among players. The money is good, even in Bangladesh. U can't expect rich folks to toil away in the sun for national glory. Let the small people do that. All that a player needs these days is a few top performances initially; get a BPL contract; maybe a Sri Lankan one too. And then with what u make in the domestic league, your financial future is secure. Go and flay at the ball at will; throw your wicket away and blame it on some incredible bowling spells by unknown quicks from Zimababwe, of all places.

Posted by 30-30-150 on (April 24, 2013, 13:34 GMT)

Bangladesh would have done really well if they avoid an innings defeat or 300+ run hammering in this game. Bangladesh batters stand no chance against Jarvis and co., while their bowlers can't pick 20 wickets against any batting lineup.

Posted by D-Train on (April 24, 2013, 13:25 GMT)

@ Nduru

I have never said that about Bangladesh. I've thought for a long term that they are just a very poor team that plays with zero discipline, heart and intelligence. I was shocked to find out they were favourites in the first team. Without question Zimbabwe are a far better team.

Posted by Haleos on (April 24, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

I suspect Bangladesh will do very well in this match and will come back to their own in the coming matches(read playing ordinary cricket)

Posted by Fogu on (April 24, 2013, 12:39 GMT)

Even after SL series, it was clear that BD needs to improve their fast bowling and fielding. With a helpful pitch, BD fast bowlers did perform better but the flip side reared it's head. Batting on a fast pitch is a problem for all sub-continental team. IN, PK and SL also struggles in those conditions. All sub-continent teams need to build some fast tracks and develop their batting technique along with bowlers to be more competitive outside their own backyards. Recently all Asian teams have been demolished outside their backyards. For BD, a long term strategy needs to be developed to improve their fast pitch woes. From pitch development, specialized fast bowling coach to 4 day 1st class matches, all aspects need to be worked on. Go Tigers!

Posted by bigdhonifan on (April 24, 2013, 12:16 GMT)

India won their 25th Test match and NZ won their 45th test match. Both teams drawn half of the test matches they played till then. Here Bangladesh have payed 78 test matches till now and just won 3 ( 2 of them were against a Windies side with no premium players) and just drawn 8. This show BD is not enough for test at International level.

Posted by Nduru on (April 24, 2013, 12:10 GMT)

...but seriously guys, you are the same ones who say Bangladesh has somehow magically become as good as India after one good performance. I am just arguing for a more balanced perspective that does not set teams up for failure.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 11:59 GMT)

Low slow spinner friendly tracks are what Bangladesh batsmen are groomed on. Zimbabwe's green bouncer was always going to be too much for them. The results are not surprising and things are unlikely to turn around in this decade or the next. India are still struggling to win on bouncy tracks despite the abundance of talent. Bangladesh should stick to one-day, t20 and domestic test cricket as a benchmark for their development. Wickets are flatter and technique is less of an issue. In any case, the fans and the players seem more inclined to the t20 game. Thats where the peoples heros reside.

Posted by Natesan333 on (April 24, 2013, 11:50 GMT)

@Nduru I get the fact that teams like Bangladesh get piled on when they lose (from non-Bangladeshi mostly and Bangladeshis ), but the thing is, when they win their fans make so much noise. Immediately they become the number 1 team on earth and say nonsensical things like, this is why India doesn't want to play them etc., so the fault is partially with them as well. Some times the door swings both ways.

Posted by Sadequl on (April 24, 2013, 11:44 GMT)

Being an emotional nation it is a bit hard for us as BD fan to accept this hard truth that, we will be at the bottom of the test ranking if we loose to Zim with the coming 2nd test match from tomorrow [25th to 29th April].

But reality is sometimes like that, which is not so easy to swallow. Who ever is the fittest will remain in top & that's the nature of it & no matter what we say nothing gona change that situation until unless our boys can show their real performance in the field.

As a nation we do have not much of a joyful thing to be mention but yet this is the only game which is makes us proud, gives us a separate identity in the world too. We are known as a fighter nation from our very begging & we want to see our boys also to "fight back" all the way. We know U boys R under pressure atm but if U guys can have self believe on your selves then In-sha-Allah nothing is impossible. Try harder not to let us down & our pray & duwa's will be with U. So go on tigers do what U do best.

Posted by Fareen on (April 24, 2013, 11:19 GMT)

I somehow think it would be foolish to go with Sohag Gazi rather than Enamul. Yes Sohag's performance is awesome recently, but with 11 right handed batsmen in the Zim side, we have to go with 2 left arm spinners. And what i heard is that Shafiul is not fully fit, and Ziaur is not a fast bowler, so I don't know how we can consider him as a specialist bowler.

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (April 24, 2013, 11:11 GMT)

I don't understand why Jahurul Islam is in the 11. All he did was score a 50 against an Indian bowling attack but since then, hasn't scored 1. We may be struggling to find a full time partner for Tamim but realistically, his partner for Test should both forms should be Ashraful. But I still think Zimbabwe will win this test match, there's no way Bangladesh have the ability to defend for long periods on these bouncier wickets.

Posted by dontlikecricket on (April 24, 2013, 11:07 GMT)

Hum, the problem with fans stating it took many years for NZ to win their first test is that there use to be hardly any cricket around. If I am right NZ player 40+ tests over a period of 26 years including few years when there was no cricket due to world war. Tests players use to play very few tests. Now BD has played around 80 tests. I am wondering how many players have played 40 odd matches?This gimmic of fans hiding under number of years is plain rubbish. Cricketrs now play a lot of games of all formats and have more opportunites to improve and learn. Matter of fact is BD players are just not good enough. Not many of them will even make into first eleven of domestic competitions around the world. Most of them cant even make into first class of IND or PAK which is funny as their first class standard is not as good as it use to be 10/15 years ago!!!

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 10:56 GMT)

to sagor sagor- stop living in fools paradise. to nduru- I understand what you mean. but you cant afford to score below 150 in both innings against such an inexperienced team like Zim. may be ashraful alone has played more tests than all of the players of Zim except taylor. and have you seen how they lost their wickets? i firmly think that BD best team will loose to Ranji trophy champs nine times out of ten and 10 times out of ten against Sheffield shield champs. and how many tests New Zealand has played before wining one and how many tests BD has played over the same period of time. so it is not the time man, rather it is the number of matches they played.

Posted by hasib9 on (April 24, 2013, 10:55 GMT)

Nafees looked solid. Jahurul was uncomfortable against fast bowling. He almost got out several times. Beside, Zim bowlers showed weakness against left handed batsmen.

Posted by Baundele on (April 24, 2013, 10:39 GMT)

Bangladesh underestimated Zimbabwe. The second test will be quite opposite. The series will be drawn 1-1; but I still do not take it; BD should have won 2-0.

Posted by D-Train on (April 24, 2013, 10:25 GMT)


You're talking about small teams and unrealistic expectations. The fact is Bangladesh have been playing test cricket for well over a decade now and despite the infrastructure and the support base they have shown very little improvement. The whole smaller team/inexperienced argument has well and truly sailed.

Posted by CricLook on (April 24, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

I am a Bangladeshi fan. I was so disappointed with the performance of our team in first test that I dont see any hope , improvement or win.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 8:00 GMT)

One word of the answer to this topic = "NO"

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 7:32 GMT)

Bangladesh team should move around in India and Australia to play in Ranji Trophy and Sheffield shield at least for three years and then come back to international test arena

Posted by Samudro2106 on (April 24, 2013, 7:26 GMT)

The loss in the first test was really a disappointing one for Bangladesh Cricket. Hope Bangladesh will fight back strongly to square the series so that we can prevent damage to our earned reputation in cricketing world in recent years. Bangladesh need to show their superiority to Zimbabwe otherwise the intensity of criticism will increase even more. Hopefully all our senior players will play with more care. Go ahead, tigers !!!! We will always be with you..

Posted by warneneverchuck on (April 24, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

And BD fans were praising their best playerd til date like shakib and tameem who rnot even of test standard. They r bbrought to the earth by guess who. ZiM

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

I am not so sure about the BD team because they play most of the times below there potential. When they play par with there own potentials they can come good on any team. But sadly what ever they achieve it goes above there head and squander it later on. I don;t mind they loose the match but atleast the fighting spirit they showed in SL, should be there.

Posted by   on (April 24, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

C'mon Zim, finish this and could we see significant contributions from the top 4 please.

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (April 24, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

'Zimbabwe are a tough opponent' - that shows the level of opposition!. BD love to play T20 and ODIs, not test cricket. They could arrange a 5 match T20 tour than a test series.

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