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Tigers look to win in Sylhet Stadium's inaugural Test

  • Published at 08:57 pm November 2nd, 2018
Mahmudullah, Steve Rhodes and Habibul Bashar
Bangladesh stand-in captain Mahmudullah (L), head coach Steve Rhodes (C) and national selector Habibul Bashar inspect the pitch at the Syhlet International cricket stadium Md Manik

Bangladesh stand-in captain Mahmudullah said the side is elated with SIS emerging as the eighth Test venue of the country and they will like to make the occasion memorable with a win

Hosts Bangladesh will look to end their losing streak in Tests and mark Sylhet International Stadium’s (SIS) debut as a Test venue with a victory when the side takes on touring Zimbabwe in the first of the two-match Test series.

Bangladesh stand-in captain Mahmudullah said the side is elated with SIS emerging as the eighth Test venue of the country and they will like to make the occasion memorable with a win. Bangladesh are going into the series without two of their best players in Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, who are both recovering from long-term finger injuries. This has made way for uncapped players in the squad. Though undisclosed, it is very likely for wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Mithun and pace all-rounder Ariful Haque to make their maiden appearance in Test whites for Bangladesh.

The opportunity is equally big for Mahmudullah to display his aptitude as a captain at international level. The right-arm all-rounder has been dealing with the vice-captaincy role since 2011 but it was only this year that he got a chance to lead the national team when Shakib missed the home series against Sri Lanka in the early part of the year. This time the situation is however different for Mahmudullah given that he has enough time to settle down and think about strategies given Shakib’s unavailability for the series had been known long before the series began.

With Tamim absent in the Test series too, the stage is clear for openers Liton Das and Imrul Kayes to make the limelight of their own. Liton has been in form but delivering in patches. But Imrul in the ODI series was epicenter of all discussion due to his sensational form. The left-handed batsman struck two centuries and a half century in the three-match ODI to make a solid comeback.

For Zimbabwe the side stands in front of a rare occasion of building their Test statistics. The side has not been playing enough of the red ball cricket in the recent past and the one against Bangladesh will be its first since December 2017. The side is coming into the series carrying bitter memories of losing the ODI series 3-0 but all intentions will be there from the African side to break their 12-game losing streak in the longest format. The three-day practice match was marred by rain, allowing only 66 overs in total and leaving Zimbabwe, who last played a Test in December last year, severely short of practice.   

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