Bangladesh vs Pakistan, 2nd Test Preview: Despite the return of Shakib and Taskin, Pakistan tipped to make it 2-0
After suffering a hamstring injury during the T20 World Cup, Shakib Al Hasan is racing against time to get fit for the 2nd Test match.
Bangladesh should be disappointed with themselves as despite being in a winning situation on several occasions in the first Test match, they failed to close out the game. Instead, they let the momentum slip away and ultimately ended up losing quite comprehensively by 8 wickets.
Shakib, Taskin and Mahmudul to come in
There will be a few changes in the Bangladesh playing XI, with a couple of injuries and some key players getting back to fitness. Shakib Al Hasan is in a race against time to get fit for the 2nd test match. He is likely to replace Yasir Ali who was retired hurt on 36 off 72 deliveries in the second innings of the first Test match.
Taskin Ahmed who was Bangladesh's best bowler in the recently concluded T20 World Cup will walk back into the side in place of Abu Jayed who was ineffective in the first Test match.
With openers Saif Hasan suffering from typhoid, Mahmudul Hasan Joy is all set to partner Shadman Islam at the top of the order for Bangladesh. There were mumblings that opener Naeem Sheikh who was added to the squad might replace Hassan but Bangladesh fielding coach Minazur Rahman hinted that it would instead be Mahmudul who will get the opportunity.
Abdullah Shafique repays faith
Pakistan decided to go for youth over experience in the first Test as they gave an opportunity to Abdullah Shafique instead of Imam Ul Haq and they got the results with the opener scoring 52 and 73 in the two innings.
His opening partner Abid Ali, who had been in top touch in the Quaid-e-Azam trophy carried this form to international cricket as well and was by far the best batter on display in the first test match. Ali struck a brilliant century in the first innings, making 133 of 282 deliveries and scored 91 in the second innings as well before being trapped leg before wicket by Taijul Islam in both innings.
Taijul and Mehidy key for Bangladesh
Taijul was the leading bowler for Bangladesh and orchestrated Pakistan's batting collapse in the first innings, picking up 7 wickets from 44.4 overs while bowling at an economy rate of just 2.60.
Bangladesh will expect Liton Das to maintain his rhythm. Das had a disappointing T20 World Cup campaign and was dropped from the side. However, he looked a class apart in the first Test match and struck 114 in the first Bangladesh batting innings and backed it up with 59 in the second innings.
Shaheen in red-hot form
The man to watch out for though would be Shaheen Shah Afridi who was par excellence in the first Test match. Afridi hat to contend with just two wickets in the first innings, but came dashing in the second innings, picking up 5 wickets from his 15 overs at an economy rate of 2.10 and ran through the Bangladesh top order, dismissing each of the team's top three batters in Shadman Islam, Saif Hassan and Nazmul Hossain Shanto.
Afridi has now climbed to the fifth place in ICC Test bowling rankings - the first time that he has broken into the top 5 in Test cricket - overtaking James Anderson, Kagiso Rabada and Neil Wagner.
Predicted Playing XIs
Bangladesh - Shadman Islam, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque (c), Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Nurul Hasan
Pakistan - Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Faheem Ashraf, Nauman Ali, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Sajid Khan
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