Bangladesh captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza will break an even longer break as he has not played any international match since the World Cup 2019 back in July in England and Wales
Host Bangladesh are set to play their first ODI in almost seven months with the first of the three-match series against Zimbabwe set to take place at Sylhet International Cricket Stadium Sunday.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza will break an even longer break as he has not played any international match since the World Cup 2019 back in July in England and Wales.
Mashrafe has been dealing with speculation over his retirement from international cricket since then and is now playing against Zimbabwe with claims that it could be his last as Bangladesh ODI captain.
Given the situation, right-arm pacer Mashrafe has no option but to perform in order to survive in the squad.
“Performance is important for all players and it’s the same with me. But more important is the team winning. We have not won a game in last three or four ODIs. So it is important for the team to win,” said Mashrafe to the media Saturday.
Bangladesh played their last ODI, on tour of Sri Lanka in July, where the side played three matches and lost all of them.
Saifuddin bowls BCB
A lot has changed for Bangladesh since then.
The squad against Zimbabwe has at least seven changes from the last ODI and also a major change in the coaching staff.
Bangladesh in the series will definitely look to find a win having been without one in the last five matches they have played in the format.
For the cause, left-handed opening batsman Mohammad Naim is one batsman that the management can look to hand an ODI debut and become yet another new partner to opener Tamim Iqbal.
Attention will also be on wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim who is coming into the series after scoring a double century in the one-off Test played against the same opponent last week.
With the intention of having a sporting wickets, Bangladesh are likely to form a pacer-laden side and they have four pacemen Mustafizur Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Al Amin Hossain and Saifuddin in the squad.
Bangladesh players huddle up BCB
For Zimbabwe, the primary goal is to break the seven-year long losing streak in the format against Bangladesh.
Having played a lot of cricket in Bangladesh can come as an advantage for the tourist with a batting core formed with Sikandar Raza, Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams and most likely a new opening combination in Chamu Chibhabha and Timycen Maruma.
Chibhabha, one of the most experienced campaigners for Zimbabwe in the format, has made a comeback to the squad after 2018 and with the responsibility of leading the team for the first time.
“I am very honored and privileged and really excited to lead the team. We have played Bangladesh for the last couple of years consistently and we have not played our best cricket in their backyard. We really want to change that and the mentality in the changing room. It is such that we want to change our mentality and start thinking that we are capable of winning in these conditions and preparations have been good and energy has been great. Guys are calm and relaxed,” said Chibhabha.
The day-night match will start at 1pm Bangladesh time.