A cautious Bangladesh will be looking to clinch their eighth successive one-day international series over Zimbabwe at their own backyard when they take on the visitors in the second of the three-match series at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium today.
The Tigers had established their supremacy over the African side on their home soil since their historical 3-2 series win over Zimbabwe in 2005, which was also Bangladesh’s first ever series win in ODI format.
Both the sides have been a familiar foe over the years as Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh six more times – once respectively in 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2015 and twice in 2009 – but the visitors had to face defeat in all those occasions.
Once a top team that has now turned minnows, Zimbabwe were also passing a winless streak against Bangladesh in 11 games now – a record that clearly evidenced their terminal decline.
After an all-round performance during the first one-dayer at Mirpur, which Bangladesh eventually won by 28 runs, the hosts would prefer continuing their dominance over a side that last defeated here in Bangladesh in 2010.
However, Bangladesh skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza was not prepared to take everything for granted as he believed even a small mistake could turn into a big embarrassment for the home side.
‘We are playing with the same mindset what we had in the Asia Cup –not to make any mistake. We lost against Hong Kong so we didn’t want to give them the opportunity,’ he said.
Bangladesh received a great boost before the second ODI as their in-form pacer Rubel Hossain got back to his full strength after he was unable to play in the series opener for failing to recover from a viral fever.
Rubel could replace Mustafizur Rahman provided the left-arm pacer found it hard to play having received elbow injury in the first game that denied him a chance to complete his full 10-over quota.
‘He [Rubel] was sick but he has come around well. Today [Tuesday] he bowled with full run-up in the nets,’ he said.
‘Mustafiz has some pain in his elbow. He also bowled today. Physio will give his report after some time.’
Bangladesh may also reduce a spinner depending on dew, which could be decisive. Coach Steve Rhodes visited the ground late in the evening to weigh in the dew factor, something that can come in team selection, and in that case Rubel may replace Nazmul Islam.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, will be hoping to bring their luck back in the crucial encounter and head coach Lalchand Rajput was expecting his senior players to get big scores to level the series.
‘The senior players have to take the responsibility,’ the 56-year old Indian coach said.
‘Masakadza [Hamilton] got a hundred in the practice game so hopefully he can convert it into the ODIs. BT [Brendon Taylor] is getting starts so hopefully a big score will come. I am sure they also feel they have to get a big score. It is coming, I am sure it is coming very soon,’ he added.
The match will start at 2:30pm and will be televised live on BTV, GTV and Star Sports Select 1.
Source: New Age.