Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Bangladesh eye series parity as Shakib, Taskin return. Shakib's return will boost Bangladesh
Shakib's return will boost Bangladesh
Bangladesh endured a tough first cycle of the World Test Championship. Two of their three home series were struck out by the coronavirus pandemic, and in the third, they were surprisingly blanked by a touring West Indies side that nobody expected would win. On the road, fortunes didn't take a turn for the good either, their only points coming in a high-scoring draw against Sri Lanka at Pallekele.
So with a home series against Pakistan starting off their cycle in the second WTC, the hopes of securing a first win was palpable. They even set themselves up for it with a slender but vital first-innings lead of 48 runs. But, Bangladesh were let down by an underwhelming batting effort in the second innings – an aspect of this Test team that head coach Russell Domingo has been keen to uplift.
As the action shifts to their national capital, the spinners should be much at ease as conditions are often made for them to put in a star turn. But this means added scrutiny on the batters, who twice stumbled in the Chattogram. Shakib's return should help offset that at the Sher-e Bangla stadium, where he averages 45.27.
Pakistan meanwhile have much to be delighted about with their batting efforts. At the heart of that is the performance of the two openers – Abid Ali and debutant Abdullah Shafique, who were as instrumental as Shaheen in the team securing the 1-0 lead. With Dhaka expected to suit Bangladesh's spin-dominant style much better, the onus will be on the Pakistan batsmen to keep their side on course for another valuable 12 points in their early run in this cycle of WTC.
When: Bangladesh vs Pakistan, 2nd Test, December 4-8, 10:00 AM Local Time
Where: Sher-e-Bangla stadium, Dhaka
What to expect: A spin respite for the hosts? Perhaps, after being undone by Shaheen Afridi in the second innings on the pacer-friendly wicket in Chattogram. They'll hope to avoid batting collapses, like the ones they suffered at the start in both innings in Chattogram and then rely on the spinners to do their bit.
The hosts are boosted by the return of Shakib and Taskin Ahmed, though they will be without opener Saif Hasan. Mahmudul Hasan, who comes in with strong recent domestic performances, is likely to be handed his debut at the top of the order even as the uncapped Naim Sheikh was added to the squad as cover for the injured opener.
Probable XI: Shadman Islam, Mahmudul Hasan, Nazmul Hossain, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Liton Das, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Abu Jayed/Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain
Pakistan are likely to stick with the XI that earned them the unassailable series lead in Chattogram.
Probable XI: Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Sajid Khan, Nauman Ali, Shaheen Afridi
What They Said:
‘Shanto (Nazmul Hossain) batted well in Sri Lanka and probably will bat at three and hopefully they will handle the new ball better at Dhaka.” – Bangladesh fielding coach Mizanur Rahman.
“In the NCA (National Cricket Academy) I worked with Mohammad Yusuf and Omar Yusuf and there were two brothers – Nayeem and Jain – they really helped me. I gained confidence by doing well in domestic cricket and came here and carried that confidence.” Pakistan opener Abdullah Shafique.
Did You Know:
–Shakib Al Hasan is 67 away from 4,000 Test runs
– Shaheen Afridi is tied with Ravichandran Ashwin for most Test wickets in 2021 so far (44)