" We will reverse the result"- said Mahbubul Anam, after Bangladesh's tour of Zimbabwe in April 2001, when the side was defeated in both Tests and all three one-days. This raised debates among the journalists present there, who took his words as much as true. It meant Bangladesh is going to thrash Zimbabwe in all five matches waiting to be staged in home grounds.

"Reversing the result" was a metaphorical use by Mr. Mahbubul Anam and perhaps we all are quite aware of that. Bangladesh stands at the bottom in the Test team ranking and Zimbabwe positioned itself as the ninth strongest Test nation - just over us. Someone having the least knowledge about cricket would recognize the reality that there is a gulf of difference in the standard between these two nations.

As for our African foes, they got the Test status nine years before and had played a good number of matches since then. They have a batsman like Andy Flower who's batting genius is unquestionable. He will be a sheer worrying matter for Bangladesh as our bowling is below the average and the mighty Zimbabwean can throw a monkey wrench in the works of even the greatest of bowlers of his time. Look at his average, look how he bats under pressure and look at his consistency.

In the very recent practice matches our batsmen failed to show that they can hang on to the wicket. If someone stayed in case, he was seen hesitating to go for shots. This happens when the confidence is volatile. Our players cannot synchronize both things that are absolutely vital in playing Tests - staying in the wicket and taking advantage of the loose ball as much as possible. Think about the Test in Multan, where we watched the horrendous selection of balls by our prominent batsmen.

One thing is transparent - the tracks of Bangladesh are going to benefit the batsmen without a shred of doubt. The Dhaka pitch is a bowler's killing ground. Only the spinners could get some favor. Our batsmen are less accustomed to play leg-spinners and mind that Paul Strang is a very good leggie. As to deal with the leggies we have already displayed a shocking feat (Crushed against Danish Kaneria's not-so-harmful deliveries).

Actually we have to restrain our hopes a bit. Hoping for a win against Zimbabwe is going to be a premature optimism. It will be praiseworthy if Bangladesh pulls off a draw out of their opponents in the Tests and a win in the one-day series.