Pakistan begin their tour of Bangladesh with a one-off T20I that will be played on November 29 at Dhaka.
Pakistan (1/4 at SportingBet
), who are coming off highly successful series against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, will look to continue with their good run. While they were expected to defeat Zimbabwe, their 1-0 Test win, 4-1 victory in ODIs and the punishing defeat of Sri Lanka in the T20I as well, was pleasantly surprising.
Bangladesh (10/3 at bet365
), on the other hand, have lost more than they have won in recent times, but will take heart from their crushing win over West Indies in the last game they played. West Indies were bowled out for 61 before Bangladesh ran home victors.
The home team will be without Mohammad Ashraful after his poor show against West Indies but there is good news for Bangladesh with the return of Mahmudullah. He had earlier missed the series against West Indies because of an illness. Mushfiqur Rahim continues to lead the side, whose international performances in recent times, have been patchy.
The two usual suspects, Tamim Iqbal (4/1 at SportingBet
) and Shakib al Hasan (6/1 at Stan James
), will carry Bangladesh’s hopes but against a clinical and disciplined Pakistan, they will need support from all the others.
Misbah-ul-Haq-led (6/1 at Paddy Power
) Pakistan have not made too many changes to their squad as expected, with only Mohammad Khalil getting a recall in place of the injured Junaid Khan. He will fancy his chances to get a place in the 11, probably replacing Sohail Tanvir. Tanvir had conceded 29 in the two overs he bowled and has generally been out of form since his return. On the other hand, the management may want to give him another chance before discarding the left-arm bowler.
Interestingly, Younis Khan did not play the Sri Lanka T20 and for now, there does not lie an opening in the 11 for him to get back. Pakistan will depend on Shahid Afridi (10/1 at Stan James
) yet again for his all-round skills. His brand of spin will get him more than a bagful of wickets and scoring against him will be difficult. Afridi’s batting showed some maturity against Sri Lanka in two of the limited overs game and that should augur well for the side.
On the whole, the 11 that defeated Sri Lanka in the one-off T20I last week, should be retained for this game.
Difficult to see Bangladesh win this one.