After conquering the visitors in the ODI series, Bangladesh will now look to extend their dominance over Zimbabwe in the longest format, when they face each other in the first Test of the two-game series at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium from Saturday, November 3.
Both teams have played 14 Test matches against each other with scoreline slightly favouring the visitors at 6-5. While these two last faced each other in a Test match in November 2014 at Chittagong where Bangladesh registered a comprehensive 186-run win. Zimbabwe will begin this series as underdogs and are unlikely to trouble Tigers.
Bangladesh have not been able to replicate their 50 over success in Tests, As a result, they have won just 10 out of 108 Tests they've played till date. Their last win in the longest format came in August 2017 against Australia at Dhaka, where they somehow managed to triumph Aussies by 20 runs.
Imrul Kayes was Tiger's leading run scorer in recently concluded ODI series with 349 runs. The left-hander hit two centuries and a fifty in three games and the hosts will need the opener to replicate his form in Test format.
Mushfiqur Rahim is the second-highest run-getter for Bangladesh in Tests with 3699 runs and he will be expected to play a crucial knock in the middle. In the absence of Shakib al Hasan, the hosts will also bank on the likes Mominul Haque, skipper Mahmadullah and Liton Das to lay down initial contributions in the middle.
When it comes to bowling, all eyes will be on Mustafizur Rahman, who is making a comeback in Test cricket and the pacer will be eager to go out. While in spin department Mehidy Hasan stood out as the best bowler for his side in ODIs and he is likely to trouble the Zimbabwean batsmen with the red ball as well.
Expected Playing XI
Mahmudullah (C), Mehidy Hasan, Abu Jayed, Mustafizur Rahman, Taijul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Liton Das, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Mithun.
Zimbabwe have lost their last seven Test series in a row which is a clear indication of how much they have been struggling in the longest format. Their most recent Test win came way back in September 2013 at Harare against Pakistan. Which means they haven't won a Test in five years and it will interesting to see what they can do to end their ten-year drought.
In this department, Zimbabwe hopes will mainly rely on Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams. Masakadza is among the team's leading run-scorer in Test cricket and the skipper will be expected to bring all of his experience to the fore. While Williams finished as their best batsman in the recent ODI series with 226 runs followed by Taylor with 155 runs. Both batsmen's will be expected to extend their form in Tests and get the team off to a competitive total.
Kyle Jarvis was impressive in the ODIs, where he topped the wickets charts with five wickets and he will be backed by skipper get some wickets upfront. While Sikandar Raza is one of their most experienced campainer and will be one of their go-to men against Tigers. Except these two, they will have a lot of hopes of Wellington Masakadza, who has done a decent job in his short international career.
Expected Playing XI
Hamilton Masakadza (C), Brian Chari, Brendan Taylor, Peter Moor, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Kyle Jarvis, Donald Tiripano, Ryan Burl and Wellington Masakadza.Published 02 Nov 2018, 18:44 IST