Zimbabwe has lost 19 international matches on the trot including an ODI whitewash to Bangladesh which concluded last week.
Adding to Zimbabwe’s woes, it’s 11 months since they played their last Test Cricket match which they gigantically lost to neighbors South Africa.
This Test series versus Bangladesh will surely mean a lot to this upset country.
Zimbabwe’s last test victory came in 2013 when they beat Pakistan by 24 runs in Harare. Since then they have played 12 Tests, losing 11 and securing 1 draw.
The last time Zimbabwe visited Bangladesh for a test series was in November 2014 where they were trounced 3-0.
The Tigers from their last 20 Tests they have lost 12, winning 4 and drawing 4. Most of their draws and wins have come at home which makes them a real threat in the longer format in their own backyard. Sri Lanka, England and Australia have been the victims of Bangladesh’s ferociousness at home.
The Chevrons of Zimbabwe are the least ranked team on the ICC Test rankings table and failure to organize a bilateral Test series before the World Cup next year, they might go several months without Test Cricket. Hence, this series means a lot to them as they try to get some points and remain rateable.
Coming to experience Zimbabwe has a lot more than the ‘young’ Bangladeshi side which has been hit by injuries making their senior players like Shakib Al Hassan and Tamim Iqbal out of the tour.
However, there’s something to be happy about in the Bangladeshi’s ranks as Mustafizur Rahman is fully fit after sustaining an injury during the ODI series.
Also, a lot will be looked upon from Mushfiqur Rahim and Riyad Mahmuddulah as Bangladesh looks to record back to back wipe-outs over Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe will have to bank on the vastly experienced players like Captain Hamilton Masakadza, Brendon Taylor, Sean Williams, Tendai Chatara and the returning Christopher Mpofu.
Zimbabwe will also look to blend experience with young blood by having a lead spinner in the person of Wellington Masakadza or to hand Brendon Mavuta his Test debut.
The first test will be played at one of the most picturesque stadia in the world at Sylhet International Cricket Ground from the 3rd of November.
As the custom is in the subcontinent, the wicket will offer more assistance for the spin bowlers and Zimbabwe coach spoke to the media yesterday assuring the fans that they are ready to play spin as they are well prepared for the huge task that lies ahead following their 2 month camp back home were they practiced more on how to play spin.
My probable XI’s for the first test
Zimbabwe: 1. Brian Chari, 2. Hamilton Masakadza, 3. Craig Ervine, 4. Brendon Taylor, 5. Sean Williams, 6. Raza Butt, 7. Regis Chakava+, 8. Donald Tiripano 9. Brendon Mavata, 10. Kyle Jarvis, 11. Tendai Chatara.
Bangladesh: 1. Imrul Kayes, 2. Liton Das, 3. Mominul Haque, 4. Mohammad Mithun, 5. Mushfiqur Rahim+, 6. Mahmudullah, 7. Nazmul Shanto, 8. Mehidy Hasan, 9. Shafiul Islam, 10. Taijul Islam, 11. Mustafizur Rahman