The Tigers were humbled in the first Test in Sylhet, losing the game to the visitor by 151 runs within three and a half days of play
Host Bangladesh will be on their toes to avoid a possible series loss against Zimbabwe as the two sides lock horns with each other in the second and final Test match of the series at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, starting Sunday.
There is also the occasion of Bangladesh making their 18th year in Test cricket.
The home side will be determined to not mark the instance with a humiliating low, while for Zimbabwe they will fancy their chances of earning a rare series win away from home.
The Tigers were humbled in the first Test in Sylhet, losing the game to the visitor by 151 runs within three and a half days of play.
Bangladesh in the game had hit another batting low, getting dismissed under 200 for the eighth consecutive time as the side’s inability with the bat in the longer format of the game was once again exposed in a shambolic manner.
Interim @BCBtigers captain @Mahmudullah30 is determined to go beyond their capacity in the series-deciding match against @ZimCricketv as he said his side will give 120% to win the Testhttps://t.co/vSTkp3li40#MAHMUDULLAH #BANGLADESH #ZIMBABWE #CRICKET #BANGLADESHCRICKET #BCB #ZC— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) November 10, 2018
Going into the final game, which perhaps has turned into a game to save the reputation, Bangladesh will have to come up solving a series of puzzles.
Coming out to bat with the Test mentality will surely be on top of the list.
Both Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes and a couple of members from the opposition had termed Bangladesh’s disaster coming from their ODI style batting.
There were also big questions regarding the lack of focus of the local batters, and a grave concern was raised whether they knew where their off-stump was.
The Tigers’ techniques with the bat were found wanting as they gave away wickets through dismal shot selection, and Zimbabwean bowlers found the edge of their bats far too often with balls which should have been left alone in this level of the game.
On November 10, 2000, history was created as @BCBtigers entered into the most elite arena of cricket by becoming a Test-playing nation, taking on India at Bangbandhu National Stadium, located in the southern part of Dhaka.https://t.co/hJGyGS5IMo#BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS #ZC— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) November 10, 2018
With Tamim Iqbal and Shakib al Hasan missing from the game, eyes were on makeshift captain Mahmudullah and wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, but both had failed.
Mahmudullah had around three days to address his long pale patch in longer version cricket.
Just 58 runs in his last eight innings, Mahmudullah is surely to feel the heat.
The right-handed batsman believes in leading from the front being a captain, and all eyes will firmly be on him.
On the other hand, Mushfiq, one of the finest batsmen the country have ever produced, and his stubbornness to perform with the gloves behind the wicket and batting lower down the order in an inexperienced line-up did not help the cause.
@ZimCricketv captain Hamilton Masakadza believes host @BCBtigers are under pressure ahead of the series-deciding Test match, and said his team will try to be on top once again as they bid to win a memorable Test series.https://t.co/1CkZT5mM3c#ZIMBABWE #CRICKET #ZIMBABWECRICKET— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) November 10, 2018
With the unpredictable wicket in Mirpur, getting the team combination right will be a challenge in itself.
It is being predicted that the deck at MSBNCS is likely to offer purchase to the spinners, and Bangladesh will follow their tradition of relying heavily on the spinners.
Of the two changes, Bangladesh are likely to come hard with left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman in place of spinner Nazmul Islam Apu.
This will keep two in-form spinners - left-armer Taijul Islam and off-spinner Mehedi Hasan Miraz - in action.
Taijul had hit the record books with a brilliant 11-wicket haul in the first Test and is likely to continue his purple patch while Miraz, who got just three wickets, may look to bowl differently in Dhaka, his favourite hunting ground.
Among other hurdles, makeshift captain @Mahmudullah30 will also encounter an extra challenge as he has to lead from the front in the upcoming match to save the series for the Tigers.https://t.co/8aUsFc3Oi4#MAHMUDULLAH #BCBTIGERS #BANGLADESH #CRICKET #BANGLADESHCRICKET #BCB #ZC— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) November 10, 2018
Batsman Nazmul Hossain Shanto made his debut in Sylhet but two below-par outings with the bat is likely to bring in Mohammad Mithun in the playing XI to pave the way for a Test debut for the latter.
Mithun will arrive for Bangladesh in the format, having played the most first-class matches before making his Test debut for the country.
Zimbabwe will be relaxed going into the game with the 1-0 lead and they know the calmness that they have showed over the host in the first Test could be the key once again.
The side which fetched their first away Test win since 2001 is likely to remain unchanged in their pursuit of winning the coveted series.
The side’s run rate from the first game should look unpleasant but they had done the job right, staying long in the middle, and playing the game according to the merit of the situation.
This was bagged by a joint effort by the bowlers who pulled off a historic win by restricting a superior Bangladesh side for a below-par score, twice.
Bangladesh Head to head Zimbabwe
15 Tests 15
5 Wins 7
3 Draws 3
33.33 Win % 46.66
20 Draw % 20
Habibul Bashar (578) Most runs Hamilton Masakadza (844)
Shakib al Hasan (137) HS Brendan Taylor (171)
Taijul Islam (28) Most wickets Heath Streak (20)
Taijul (8/39) BBI Douglas Hondo (6/59)