After the recent setback in Test against Afghanistan, Bangladesh will look to bounce back with a win against Zimbabwe in the first match of tri-nation T20 series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today (Friday). The match is scheduled to start at 6:30 pm.
For this tri-series, Tigers have named a surprising squad with numerous players from their previous T20 series missing out. The home team will welcome back their premier fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman who was rested for the recently concluded one-off test match against Afghanistan.
The selectors have included uncapped pace bowler Yasin Arafat into the mix but he may not be drafted into the starting eleven straight away. Spinner Mehedi Hasan and all-rounder Afif Hossain have been recalled to the T20I set-up. Rubel Hossain and Mehidy Hasan Miraz who played against the West Indies last year have been left out.
Like always, Bangladesh will rely on three top players if they are to come out top against Zimbabwe. Skipper Shakib Al Hasan, wicketkeeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim and all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad’s performance will matter the most in today’s match.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe will be without one of their key men - all-rounder Sikandar Raza - who has been dropped from the squad over disciplinary issues. Zimbabwe have picked fresh faces in Tony Munyonga and Ainsley Ndlovu who are in line for their T20I debuts. Tinotenda Mutombodzi and Neville Madziva are two other young players in the squad that also has experienced campaigners with the likes of Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams and Craig Ervine. Undoubtedly, Masakadza, Taylor and Willaims will be key players for Zimbabwe.
Bangladesh are a team that lacks cohesion in T20 format. Like Test format, Tigers always struggle in T20. Bangladesh managed to win only five out of the sixteen T20Is they played last year. This match might look an easy assignment on paper but given Zimbabwe’s convincing seven-wicket win in T20 warm up match against BCB-XI on Wednesday and Tigers dismal T20 form, there is no chance for complacency. Tigers should give their best if they are to beat the Zimbabweans.