Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2018-19 [Preview]

Zimbabwe is set to tour Bangladesh in the month of October to play two Test matches and three one-day internationals. The visitors will face an uphill task against resurgent Bangladesh side that showed resilience and character to qualify for the finals of Asia Cup. Zimbabwe Captain Hamilton Masakadza will be hoping that his side can put up a fight against Bangladesh in the Test and ODI series.

Zimbabwe will play two warm-up games before taking on Bangladesh in the opening game of the three-match one-day series against Bangladesh to be played on 21st October at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka. The remaining two games will be played on 24th and 26th at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.

Hamilton Masakadza has struggled to find form during the three-match one-day series against South Africa. Since Jan 2017, he has scored 857 runs from 31 games at an average of 27.64. His numbers clearly show that his batting standards have taken a sharp decline over the past 18 months.

Brendan Taylor is the most experienced in Zimbabwe’s limited-overs squad. He recently completed 6000 runs in limited-overs cricket during the third and final game of the one-day series against South Africa. For the current year, he has shown good form and scored 743 runs from 18 matches at an average of 41.27 with two centuries to his name.

Solomon Mire, Craig Ervine, and Sean Williams are promising players that need to produce consistency in terms of runs for Zimbabwe to compete with top sides like Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Sikandar Raza has been included in the Test and ODI squads for the tour to Bangladesh.

In the bowling department, Tendai Chatara has topped the bowling charts for Zimbabwe since January 2017. He has picked 44 wickets in 31 matches at an average of 27.36. Donald Tripano and Kyle Jarvis were excellent with the ball in hand during the one-day series played in South Africa.

On the other hand, Bangladesh will field a weaker side for the series in the absence of players like Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. The duo has been sidelined due to injuries. Mashrafe Mortaza also sustained a finger injury and will try his best to get fit in time to lead Bangladesh against Zimbabwe in the three-match one-day series.

Mushfiqur Rahim is also currently going through a rehabilitation process after suffering from a rib injury during the Asia Cup. Mahmudullah Riyad might be given a chance to lead Bangladesh in the two-match Test series in the absence of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal.

The bench strength in the batting department will be tested for Bangladesh as Tamim and Shakib will miss the two-match Test series followed by three-match one-day series.

Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah Riyad, and Sabbir Rahman are certainly bankable players, who will need to do the bulk of the scoring for Bangladesh. Mahmudullah has struggled in the longer format of the game and averages 25.72 from ten matches played since January 2017. Wicket-keeper Liton Das enhanced his reputation with the bat through credible performances during the Asia Cup 2018.

Mehedy Hasan Miraaz and Tajiul Islam are premier bowlers for Bangladesh in Test cricket. Abu Javed and Taskin Ahmed might come into the frame as Mustafizur Rahman will need adequate support in such conditions.

The conclusion of the two-match Test series will be followed by a three-match one-day series. The opening game of the one-day series will be played at 3rd November at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium. The second and final game of the series will be played at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur.

It is certainly going to be a much tighter affair given the fact that Bangladesh is missing their key player for the series.

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