• Friday, Nov 22, 2019
  • Last Update : 06:34 pm

Tigers, Afghans start first red-ball affair

  • Published at 07:49 pm September 4th, 2019
Bangladesh's Mehedi Hasan Miraz bowls during training in Chittagong Wednesday as Taijul Islam and Nayeem Hasan look on Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik from Chittagong

A battle of spin is expected at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium as both Bangladesh and Afghanistan are likely to rely on their most prolific department

Host Bangladesh will look to recover from the recent lows when they take on Afghanistan in the one-off Test match at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium Thursday.

Not only the national side, the second string sides have also passed dreadful times recently and Tigers skipper Shakib al Hasan is determined to bring his side back on track as they take on the Afghans for the first time in red-ball cricket.

Every time the two sides met, in the shorter formats, the affairs have been exciting. 

But Bangladesh are well ahead of their Afghan counterparts as far as experience and strength for a Test are concerned. 

With that said, Afghanistan will surely want to produce a win against a better-ranked side taking advantage of the conditions.

A battle of spin is expected at ZACS as both Bangladesh and Afghanistan are likely to rely on their most prolific department.

During the pre-match press conference, Shakib stopped short of declaring his team strategy in public but has backed their commonly seen decision of the playing XI overlooking the pacers. 

Shakib will have to lead the spin attack with help from Taijul Islam, Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Nayeem Hasan with one pacer in the form of Taskin Ahmed.

Bangladesh will miss the services of experienced opener Tamim Iqbal. 

The left-handed batsman has taken leave from the Test that is to be followed by the tri-nation T20I series involving Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

In the absence of Tamim, left-handed batsman Soumya Sarkar is likely to form pair with Shadman Islam with Mominul Haque to follow at No 3. 

With experience cut short at the top, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib and Mahmudullah will have to take charge in case of a debacle at the top.

For Afghanistan, the task will be more about showing their mettle, having been one of the recent sides to get the Test status. 

Till date, the Afghans have played two Tests, winning one. 

Captain Rashid Khan should be at the steering wheel with the leather but to gain success in the game, his batsmen will have to play the key role. 

Afghanistan are yet to adopt the mentality needed to bat longer and their batsmen, namely Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan and Rahmat Shah, will need to tackle the Bangladesh spinners well.

The game is scheduled to begin at 10am, Bangladesh standard time. 

Spurts of rain are in forecast throughout the five days of the game and this could make life difficult for the batters on a wicket that is expected to offer turn.