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|Nazmul Hossain Shanto||13||32||1||0||40.62|
|Nazmul Hossain Shanto||5||5||1||0||100.00|
Unlike they've done in white-ball Cricket, Bangladesh haven't really been as successful in the longest version of the game. The faced a heavy defeat at the hands of West Indies in their last test series and will be looking to turn around their fortunes in the red-ball cricket as well.
The test series between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe is set to begin on 3rd November at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium. The hosts will be looking to extend their brilliant limited-overs form while Zimbabwe will be keen to redeem some pride with a win in the longest format of the game.
Despite being weakened by the absence of their leading stars in Shakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, the way they performed in ODI series was commendable, to say the least. They'll be riding high on morale after their fantastic win over the same team.
Although Bangladesh were thrashed brutally by West Indies earlier this year, they've done reasonably well while playing at home with wins against England and Australia to their name. However, they lost the two-match series against Sri Lanka at home before crumbling against West Indies.
The absence of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal could be more telling in the longest format of the game and the rest of the players will really need to step up their game. Imrul Kayes was phenomenal in the One Day series and will be looking to replicate his ODI form in the test cricket as well.
Their bowling has been doing alright and with the return of Mustafizur, they appear to be even more lethal. Their spinners could be difficult to deal with especially in spin-friendly conditions. Overall, as seen in ODI series, the Tigers will be a tough nut to crack in the longest format of the game as well.
Liton Das, Imrul Kayes, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Ariful Haque, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Nazmul Islam, Abu Jayed.
Even since their famous victory against Pakistan back at home in 2013, Zimbabwe haven't won even a single test match. That sums up their story since then. They've played 12 matches thereafter and have lost 11 of those. Their form in the limited-overs version of the game hasn't been good either and it would take a big effort from their batsmen as well as bowlers to end their drought.
The conditions at Sylhet with be pretty similar to what they're like at home which should boost visitors' confidence at least a little. They have plenty of experienced batsmen at their disposal in Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, and Sean Williams. Williams and Taylor, in particular, found form towards the end of the ODI leg and scored heavily. They will form the backbone of their batting lineup.
Bowling appeared to be Zimbabwe's strength in all the series prior to this and it all seemed to fall apart for them in the final two ODIs. Their bowlers looked toothless and were neither able to pick wickets nor restrict the flow of runs. For Zimbabwe to fare better in the longest format of the game, their bowlers will need to up their game and if they can do that, they certainly can give Bangladesh a run for their money.
Hamilton Masakadza, Brian Chari, BRM Taylor, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Peter Moor, R Chakabva, Brandon Mavuta, WP Masakadza, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara.
With surface likely to deteriorate as the match progresses and batting fourth likely to be difficult, we expect the team winning the toss to bat first.
It's a test match debut for Sylhet International Cricket Ground and it will be interesting to see how the surface changes over the course of the match. There is a forecast of rain on the third and fourth day of the match. On all other days, it is expected to be warm and sunny. The surface is likely to assist spinners later in the game and the first couple of days will be the best time to bat here.
Although the hosts are coming off a terrific run in limited-overs cricket, they have a lot of things to fix as far as the longest format of the game is concerned. For Zimbabwe, barring a few things, nothing has gone well for them in recent past. Considering the recent form and team on paper, Bangladesh, playing in familiar conditions, are firm favorites to win the opening test and go 1-0 up in the series.