Rashedul Islam Ratul from Khulna
With the sweetest memory of humiliating Pakistan by 4-0 in three ODIs and the lone T20, the inspired Tigers will confront the struggling tourist in the first Test of two-match Dan Cake Test series with an expectation to taste their first-ever Test win at Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna today (Tuesday). The host won their last match against Zimbabwe by 162 runs in the same venue.
Bangladesh played total eight Tests against Pakistan and won none even they failed to draw a single match. In terms of playing Test Pakistan are far ahead of Bangladesh. In the two years Bangladesh played only nine Tests while Pakistan played double of those.
Pakistan are also ahead in ranking. Bangladesh are now at number nine while the tourist are at four.
But it appears that the consistent and confident Tigers will show no mercy to seal their first-ever Test win against Pakistan.
Bangladesh have seven changes in the Test squad from their ODI and T20 sides. There uncapped players, Soumya, Liton and Shahid were included in the squad while experienced batsman Imrul Kayes was re-called in the side with pacer Shahadat.
At the pre-match conference Mushfiq said that their batsmen were capable enough to score 600 plus. To make Musfiq's words true Tigers will largely depend on their opening pair of Tamim and Imrul.
Tamim had a good record in recent Tests as he hit two consecutive tons in the last two Tests of Bangladesh against Zimbabwe in November last. Imrul also had a ton in the same series.
Then Bangladesh have batsmen like Mominul and Mahmudullah at number three and four while Mushfiq and Shakib in the middle.
Mominul is the most consistent Test batsman of Bangladesh who scored 1198 in 12 matches with four hundreds. At number seven Soumya has a probability to make his debut.
With the ball in spin Shakib will lead the Tigers with young Taijul and Jubair. Shakib grabbed 140 wickets in 37 matches while Taijul and Jubair took 25 and 11 wickets in five and three matches respectively.
In pace attack Rubel Hossain will deal with the Pakistani batsmen with Shahadat or new face Mohammad Shahid.
On the other hand, Pakistan have a better batting side with the joining of Test captain Misbah-ul-Haq and the veteran Younis Khan who have the ability to carry the innings lonely.
With these two they also have to inform ODI skipper Azhar Ali who may appear at number three.
Though Mohammad Hafeez was flop in the tour so far, Pakistan may expect couple of big innings from him in the Test series.
At the middle Asad Shafiqa and Sarfraz Ahmed have the chance to play important role with the bat.
In bowling attack pacer Wahab Riaz has to take most of the responsibilities on his shoulder as his mates Junaid Khan and spinner Saeed Ajmal who returned to international cricket with corrected bowling actions in this series are not in good form in this tour. But Pakistan will look for an Ajmal show as he has the potentiality to dominate with the ball.
However, Tigers dominated Pakistan in all the limited over matches in Mirpur and Tigers' ODI and T20 skipper Mashrafe said, "Test will be the real test." Now it is time to witness what happens when the roaring Tigers face the under-pressure Pakistan in the real test at home.