ith the mega 20-over event only a year away, the hosts have already made selections with an eye on grooming young talent, starting with the tri-nation series, also involving Zimbabwe and Afghanistan, which kicks off on Friday, 13 September.
After a 224-run loss to Afghanistan in the only Test, Bangladesh need to put behind that disappointment and turn up in a totally different mood when they take on Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 International of a tri-nation series also involving the team that just beat them. They have made as many as six changes to the squad that played in the West Indies series last year. Notable absentees include Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Mithun and Tamim Iqbal [who continues to be on a break].
- Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, 1st T20I, Mirpur, 13 September
- Afghanistan v Zimbabwe, 2nd T20I, Mirpur, 14 September
- Bangladesh v Afghanistan, 3rd T20I, Mirpur, 15 September
- Bangladesh v Zimbabwe, 4th T20I, Chattogram, 18 September
- Afghanistan v Zimbabwe, 5th T20I, Chattogram, 20 September
- Bangladesh v Afghanistan, 6th T20I, Chattogram, 21 September
- TBC v TBC, T20I Final, Mirpur, 24 September
They’ve recalled Mohammad Saifuddin, who was out with a back injury sustained during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. Keeping their focus on young players, who are being groomed for the next year’s T20 World Cup, the hosts have also given fast bowlers Yeasin Arafat and Taijul Islam their maiden T20I call-ups.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, will be keen prove their case after a particularly tough time back home over the last few months. They will be missing the services of senior all-rounder Sikandar Raza, who has been suspended for indiscipline.
The African side had a positive start to their tour, defeating a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in a practice match on Wednesday, 11 September. Their bowlers were economical and restricted the hosts to a modest 142. A strong batting effort, led by Brendan Taylor (57*), Hamilton Masakadza (31) and Timycen Maruma (46*) then chased down the total with 16 balls to spare. Zimbabwe need more of those performances if they are to reverse a trend of one win in 12 T20Is since the start of 2018.
Remember the last time
Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh for a three ODIs and two Tests in October/November last year. While the visitors lost all their matches on the tour, they produced some good performances with both bat and ball. Sean Williams, who scored 226 runs while being dismissed just once in three innings, and Brendan Taylor, whose 155 runs came at 51.66, led Zimbabwe’s batting charts in the ODIs, while Kyle Jarvis was the pick of the bowlers, with five wickets in three games. This will be the first time these two teams meet in the shortest format since 2015-16, when a two-match series ended in a draw.