About the Match
Bangladesh will host Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in a 6-match ODI Tri Series that starts with the 1st match between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe on 15th January at Mirpur. After a successful Bangladesh Premier T20 League, the national team failed to perform well on their tour of South Africa; they will be eager to make a comeback here with a better all-around show. Zimbabwe did very well against Sri Lanka in limited-overs cricket, winning their first ODI series against the Lankans in 2017, and they will be determined to repeat their good show here in the sub-continent. Both sides have talented youngsters and experienced players, who could try and help their tea dominate on Monday. It needs to be seen which team can excel under pressure and emerge victorious in the first match of the series.
Mashrafe Mortaza will lead the side that consists of batsmen like Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman, the in-form batsman Anamul Haque who had a strike rate of 128.75 in the BPL tournament last year, and all-rounders Mahmudullah and Shakib-Al-Hasan. Top-order batsmen like Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar have been dropped as they underperformed in South Africa, and Haque has been called in to strengthen the unit. Mustafizur Rahman who missed the South Africa ODIs due to injury is set to make a comeback into the squad.
The bowing unit will have speedsters Rubel Hossain, Nasir Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam, who had a successful BPL stint last year, Sunzamul Islam and Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who adds depth to the attack. Part-timers like Mahmudullah and Shakib-Al-Hasan bring variety with their spin combinations and could try to upset the visitors here.
Overall, Bangladesh has good match-winners who can leverage the home advantage to bring home a much-needed victory in this upcoming series.
Graeme Cremer will don the captain’s hat and brings a lot of experience to the side along with senior players like Hamilton Masakadza, who adds strength to the top-order, Sikandar Raza, middle-order batsman Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor and Kyle Jarvis, who is returning to the ODI squad after a long hiatus. Brandon Mavuta, the young leg-spinner all-rounder, and Ryan Murray, the wicket-keeper batsman have been selected for the series and they will be eager to showcase their talents here.
Blessing Muzarabani, the young pacer who made his international debut against South Africa in December, has been picked while others like Tendai Chatara, Malcolm Waller, Tendai Chisoro, Christopher Mpofu and Peter Moor add variety to the contingent.
The team has a well-balanced mix of batsmen and bowlers, with several new talents as well as some experienced players who can guide the youngsters in the upcoming match on Sunday.
Zimbabwe will draw inspiration from their big win against Sri Lanka last year, and could strategize well against the hosts; however, we feel that Bangladesh with the home advantage will have the upper hand to overcome the challenges and win this contest.