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After a poor outing against the Proteas in South Africa, Zimbabwe will move to Bangladesh to play a 3-match ODI series scheduled to begin on 21st October at Mirpur. Bangladesh will draw confidence from their recent performance in Asia Cup where they came close to winning the title before giving in to pressure in the final match against India. Zimbabwe, despite their heavy loss against South Africa, will be pretty confident of doing well against the Tigers as they started doing really well towards the end of their South Africa tour. Zimbabwe haven't won a game against Bangladesh since 2010 and they'll be desperate to shrug off their recent poor performances and do well in Bangladesh.
The major setback for Bangladesh will be the absence two of their most experienced players in Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. While Tamim Iqbal suffered a hand injury in recently concluded Asia Cup, Shakib Al Hasan is out due to his finger injury which has been troubling him from quite some time. Nazmul Hossain and Liton Das are the most likely candidates to open the innings in the absence of the southpaw.
As seen during the Asia Cup, their middle order is a little fragile and there will be a huge responsibility on the shoulders of Mushfiqur Rahim to maintain the pace of their innings. The likes of Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Imrul Kayes will need to play the supporting role well.
Despite the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, their bowling attacks look well settled. Mustafizur Rahman and Mashrafe Mortaza form the backbone of their pace attack. Mehidy Hasan and Nazmul Islam are likely to shoulder the load of the spin department.
Liton Das, Imrul Kayes, Fazle Mahmud, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mashrafe Mortaza, Nazmul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman.
Zimbabwe haven't really had a good time coming into the tournament. They were whitewashed 3-0 by South Africa in their most recent ODI encounter. Overall, out of their last 23 matches, they've managed to win just 17. Before losing to the Proteas 3-0, they were thrashed at home by Pakistan 5-0.
Zimbabwean bowlers did pretty well against South Africa, but it was their batting that struggled. Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, and Brandon Mavuta were impressive in South Africa. Mavuta, in particular, was outstanding as he caused troubles for even the best batsmen of spin including Faf du Plessis. The surface of Bangladesh is likely to assist Zimbabwe's bowling attack and if they're able to maintain their lines and lengths, they'll be tough to deal with.
Although their batting failed miserably in the last series, they are certainly a capable unit. The return of Sikandar Raza will boost their batting lineup which was found wanting recently. The likes of Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, and Sean Williams will have a huge role to play alongside Hamilton Masakadza and Sikandar Raza.
Hamilton Masakadza, Cephas Zhuwao, Craig Ervine, BRM Taylor, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, Sikandar Raza, Donald Tiripano, Brandon Mavuta, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara.
With dew likely to make things difficult in the second half of the innings, the team winning the toss is likely to field first.
It's forecasted to be an excellent day to play Cricket at Mirpur with maximum temperature expected to stay within thirty degrees and no chances of rain. Being a day-night game, the dew factor will certainly come into the picture making defending a little difficult. It's going to be a good surface to bat on where batsmen will get value for their shots, thanks to the lightning quick outfield. The team batting first must be looking to put in excess of 270 runs on the board.
The story of Zimbabwe cricket hasn't been bright in recent times. They failed to qualify for the World Cup in front of their home crowd and it has gone downhill for them ever since. Bangladesh, on the other hand, have impressed one and all with their recent surge in ODIs. They're even more threatening at home and despite the absence of their star players. Playing at the familiar conditions at home will be advantageous for the Tigers and with experienced players in Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, and Mashrafe Mortaza, they are better-placed to win the opening encounter and start the series on a winning note.