Zimbabwe will play a three-match ODI and a two-match test series against Bangladesh after the Africans tour preponed to October-November 2018. Earlier, Zimbabwe was scheduled to tour Bangladesh in January 2019 but the Bangladesh Cricket Board requested the visitors to bring forward the series for giving away space to Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
BPL was slated to start from October 5, 2018 but it was postponed to January 2019 due to the national elections in the country.
The 2018 Series
According to the new schedule, Zimbabwe will visit Bangladesh after an extended ODI and T20I series against South Africa that is slated to finish on October 14, 2018. The bilateral series will start with an ODI match at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla stadium on October 21. Following which, the series will shift to Chittagong and next two matches will be played at this venue on October 24 and October 26.
After that, two teams will lock horn in the test series at the new test-venue Sylhet International Cricket Stadium from November 3 to November 7. The teams will return to Dhaka to play the second and the final test at Dhaka from November 11 to November 15.
This will be the eighth bilateral test series and the sixteenth bilateral ODI series between the two countries. Zimbabwe visited Bangladesh eight times for bilateral ODI series and won only one series back in November 2001, which was their first visit to the Asian country for a bilateral series.
Two countries first played in a bilateral test series in April 2001 when Zimbabwe clinched the series by 2-0 at their own backyard. In Zimbabwe’s three-test series in Bangladesh, the Africans won their only one series in November 2001 when Zimbabwe took the two-match series by 1-0.
Bangladesh gained huge confidence after winning their maiden ODI away series since 2009. They defeated West Indies in a three-match ODI series 2-1 in July 2018. Two veterans, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal anchored the Bangla’s victory. The opening batsman was adjudged man of the series after smashing two tons and a half-century in three matches. After getting promoted to Number 3 in the ODI series, Shakib scored 190 runs and picked up two wickets in three matches.
Although the Bangla bowlers have not been in great form in recent months, the batsmen like Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah are likely to guide Bangladesh to an easy victory in the ODI series.
On the other hand, Zimbabwe is having a terrible time as they were thrashed by Pakistan 5-0 on their home soil in July 2018. Zimbabwe also crashed out of the tri-series against Pakistan and Australia without showing any resistance in June-July. Zimbabwe's last ODI victory came against Ireland in the super sixes match of the ICC World Cup qualifiers in March 2018.
However, in test Bangladesh was hammered to a 2-0 loss against West Indies in July 2018. West Indies ran over the Bangla winning the first test by an innings and 219 runs before sealing the test series with a 166-run victory in the second test.
Considering the test series against Bangladesh will be the visitor's first test match since December 2017, the host is likely to maintain their dominance in the test series also.