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Bangladesh Aim To Keep On Winning

Shakib Al Hasan and team-mates leave the field
Bangladesh have lost all eight Tests they have played against Pakistan - can they make history in Khulna?
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Bangladesh v Pakistan, first Test

28th April - 2nd May, Khulna

Start time 1030 local (0400 GMT)

Preview

With Bangladesh winning both One-Day and Twenty20 International series, Pakistan will be desperate to turn the tables in the longer format.

Pakistan have enough firepower on paper to defeat Bangladesh but they will need to apply themselves better than they have done on the tour so far. They lacked batting experience in the ODIs which should not be an issue here due to the presence of Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan in the Test team.

The bowling still looks to be a worry for Pakistan as their new ball bowlers Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz were not able to take wickets early on in the ODIs and Saeed Ajmal was ineffective.

Nevertheless, Pakistan need to forget what happened a few days back and they need to concentrate on looking forward. Players joining up with the team can bring with them new energy into the camp.

Haris Sohail, Sami Aslam and Babar Azam are the three uncapped players included in the Test squad. Haris Sohail has been in excellent ODI form in the last few months so a debut for him would be no surprise.

Key Stats

  • Bangladesh have played eight Test matches against Pakistan and have not won any of them. They have not even been able to force a draw, losing all eight games.

  • Mushfiqur Rahim is just four dismissals from becoming Bangladesh's most successful wicket-keeper and Mahmudullah needs one catch to become Bangladesh's leading outfielder.

  • With 15 Test match wins as captain, Misbah is ahead of Imran Khan and Javed Miandad.

Sami Aslam made his international debut in the last ODI against Bangladesh and he played some good shots. He will have to wait now before he can replace Sarfraz Ahmed as wicket-keeper, however.

For Bangladesh, what’s important is not to get carried away by recent results. It’s a completely different format and they will have to adapt quickly because most of their players are better suited to the shorter formats of the game, with the exception perhaps of Mominul Haque.

As far as batting is concerned, the experienced duo of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim will be the key for the home team.

Rubel Hossain and Shahadat Hossain must take the responsibility with the new ball and Taijul Islam will be the spin weapon.Shuvagata Hom had an average series against Zimbabwe, so may miss out.

Three new faces have been included in the 14-member Bangladesh squad in Litton Kumar Das, Soumya Sarkar and Mohammad Shahid. Coming off a century in the last ODI, Soumya Sarkar could well make his debut but the other two may have to wait a little longer for their Test caps.

Players to watch out for

Azhar Ali will be going into the first Test fresh from scoring a century in the last ODI and his confidence as a batsman will be higher than the rest of his team-mates. He has already proved himself in the Test match arena and this might be the time to announce himself as an impact player to the world.

Mushfiqur Rahim is the most experienced Bangladeshi batsman and he will have to do the bulk of the scoring for them. He is the only batsmen from Bangladesh to score two double-centuries, so, he knows the importance of constructing an innings.

Probable line-ups

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (captain, wicket-keeper), Mahmudullah, Taijul Islam,  Zubair Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Shahadat Hossain

Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed (wicket-keeper), Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Babar

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