When Zimbabwe take on Bangladesh in the series opener in Mirpur, they will surely be eager to erase the painful memory of South Africa where they were demolished 5-0 in two limited-overs series. In the pre-series press conference, Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza insisted that they are upbeat ahead of the Bangladesh challenge in their backyard.
Both teams faced each other in two ODIs earlier this year in which Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe. Once upon a time, Zimbabwe were a mighty opponent to most teams, especially Bangladesh, but, those days are long gone and the Tigers have won all of their last ten ODIs against the tourists.
"We did not have a great time in South Africa and (warm-up) match yesterday. But, we are focused on tomorrow (21 October) and what we can achieve from this tour. The guys are looking forward to going up, and they are upbeat," Masakadza said in the pre-series press conference in Mirpur.
The top quality spinners of Bangladesh could be the biggest threat for Zimbabwe in the series. Despite the absence of their premium spinner Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh have Nazmul Islam Apu, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Fazle Rabbi in their armory. While Nazmul and Mehidy are genuine spinners, Mahmudullah and Rabbi can play the role of part-timers with the ability to take wickets at any time.
"It is obviously one of the things you focus on when you play in the sub-continent. The spinners play a very big role here. We have prepared for it this time," Masakadza said when asked about the spinners of Bangladesh.
Zimbabwe have Sikandar Raza back in the side after the all-rounder missed the series against South Africa. Masakadza expressed his pleasure at having everyone around as he said: "Having everyone around is a big plus for the team. Apart from Graeme [Cremer] who is still injured, we have everyone around which is a positive for the team."
The series opener will take place in Mirpur on 21 October, while the remaining two matches will take place on 24 and 26 October in Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Chittagong.Published 20 Oct 2018, 18:06 IST