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HomeCricket News2nd Test: Bangladesh v Pakistan - Preview

2nd Test: Bangladesh v Pakistan – Preview

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Last Updated on 9 years by Charbel Coorey

Bangladesh v Pakistan penciled down on the cricket schedule for April – May 2015. Bangladesh hadn’t beaten Pakistan in any format since the 1999 World Cup and had lost all of their eight Tests against Pakistan before the recently completed Test at Khulna. Like a duck to water, Pakistan would have seen the ODIs against Bangladesh as the perfect start to life after Misbah Ul Haq and Shahid Afridi – the chance for youngsters to kick start their careers and the chance for the more senior players to find form against a team they hadn’t lost to for 16 years. Boy, were they wrong.

Unexpected – Pakistan have had a tough time on this tour.
Roll on to the Tests, then. A fresh start for Pakistan on a nightmare tour, a tour in which they have raised more questions about their cricket than answers. Former captain Ramiz Raja called this period their “lowest point in their international history” – a staggering comment considering what Pakistan have been through over the last few years but it also shows they did not expect to be in this position once they arrived on Bangladesh soil. The first Test went by and from a position where they seemed almost certain to win, Pakistan didn’t even come close to winning, ending the game as the team second happiest. Fair enough, how could you be happy when Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes wipe off a 296 run deficit without losing a wicket? As the number three ranked Test side, they’ll be desperate to beat the number nine ranked side and end a tough tour on a high.
The last time these two sides played a Test in Dhaka, Shakib Al Hasan scored a century and took six wickets in the match, with Bangladesh pushing Pakistan right through the match. Pakistan eventually won late on day five, but the signs are that they’ll have to work harder and play better here as Bangladesh are going through a brilliant spell. The scene is set for the second Test in Dhaka. 
Tamim & Imrul broke countless records in their 312 run stand
It is unfair to only mention the struggles of Pakistan in this series. Bangladesh haven’t allowed Pakistan to flourish and have made a statement to say that they are the little brothers no more. A 296 run deficit would put most teams into their shell and would create a mindset of trying to only bat time without looking to score. Bangladesh, namely Tamim and Imrul, saw run scoring and putting pressure on the bowlers as the form of defence and hats off to them. The Dhaka pitch is also likely to be batsman friendly, but with a little more help for the bowlers expected, it will be interesting to see how this game pans out.
Key battles:
Wahab Riaz did threaten occasionally on a very flat pitch in Khulna
Pakistan bowling vs Bangladesh openers: Tamim and Imrul batted a total of 102.4 overs in the Khulna Test – 27 in the first innings and 75.4 in that amazing, record breaking stand in the second. Batting that amount of time took so much sting out of the Pakistan bowling and they set up a great platform for the middle order, leading to a credible draw. Pakistan skipper Misbah Ul Haq has said the Dhaka pitch will offer more help to the bowlers than the unforgiving pitch in Khulna so Pakistan would hope to get an early wicket and get stuck into Bangladesh’s batting line up as soon as possible. Junaid Khan and Wahab Riaz are class acts so Bangladesh will need to be selective in their shots. What strategy will the Pakistanis employ?
Bangladesh’s spinners vs Pakistan batting: Spin is Bangladesh’s strength and it is their spinners who hold the key as to whether they’ll be able to pick up 20 Pakistani wickets in this match. Taijul Islam, who was fantastic in taking a six wicket haul on a dead track, will want better support from Shakib Al Hasan who was well off the pace with the ball in Khulna. Expect him to bounce back because he has done just that so many times in the past and he’s all class. Also, Jubair Hossain must play as he’s a more attacking option than Shavagata Hom. Pressure being created by Shakib, Taijul and Jubair might make things more interesting than Pakistan would like.
My ideal Bangladesh team:
Jubair – wicket taking option.
As a Bangladesh fan, it was great to see the team bounce back from a losing position and save the game brilliantly in Khulna. However, that doesn’t take away the fact that changes still need to be made. There is one forced change with Rubel Hossain out with a side strain but the team must take the attacking option in Jubair. Shavagata Hom didn’t do much wrong in Khulna but Bangladesh are batting well enough to let go of one specialist batsman and pick an attacking bowler. After all, you do need to take wickets to win the game and he gives a different dimension to the Bangladesh attack. Pakistan’s batsmen had a ball in Khulna – Bangladesh need to make life more difficult with less boundary balls and more wicket taking intent.
My Bangladesh team for second Test: 1. Tamim Iqbal 2. Imrul Kayes 3. Mominul Haque 4. Mahmudullah 5. Shakib Al Hasan 6. Mushfiqur Rahim (c) 7. Soumya Sarkar 8. Taijul Islam 9. Abul Hasan 10. Mohammad Shahid 11. Jubair Hossain
Prediction: Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, has said that winning will not be an upset for Bangladesh. It is pretty clear that confidence within the group is sky high. You back Bangladesh to score some runs with a number of players in very good form and if they can put the squeeze on the Pakistan batsmen, Pakistan will have to react to more unwanted pressure. Pakistan are desperate to win to avoid being the only team ranked above Bangladesh to go winless against them in all three formats in a bilateral series. Pakistan are the deserved favourites and they’ll want to continue the good Test form they showed in 2014. However, I’ll go for another draw and for more questions to be asked of the Pakistan side once the game is ended. If there is a winner in this game, it won’t be a one sided affair.
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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