Bangladesh-Pakistan T20 series
Both sides stare at winning start in series aglow
The starter of much talked Bangladesh's tour to Pakistan going to have effect today at 3:00pm (BST) at Gaddafi Stadium, Lohore. Both hosts and guests are desperate to start the series with a victory.
Bangladesh team without Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim seemed a weaker side comparing to the full strength Pakistan side at home. But still guests can hope big since they have very promising young cogs like Afif Hossain, Naim Sheikh, Mahedi Hasan, Aminul Biplob aside vastly experienced Mahmudullah Riyad, Tamim Iqbal and Rubel Hossain.
Mustafizur Rahman is the auto choice irrespective to the format while Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar are proven bunter for Bangladesh in shorter version cricket.
Tamim possibly will open batting pairing with Naim, Soumya at three in Shakib's absence and skipper Mahmudullah will succeed Mushfiqur Rahim at four promoting himself in the batting order. Mohammad Mithun is obvious at five. Liton and Afif are the next sure names. Aminul Biplob will come to bat next in case of necessity but if and only if Bangladesh goes with three pacers policy among plenty of pacing options.
Visitors however, have possibility to go with 'four-quick' policy combining Mustafiz, Rubel, Al-Amin and uncapped Hasan Mahmud, who can bowl over 140 km/h speed.
Pakistan on the other hand, are frantic to keep title at home and tented senior cricketers like Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik. Malik had been phenomenal in the just late Bangabandhu BPL. Babar Azam led Pakistan team is also an amalgamation of youth and experiences. Ahsan Ali, Usman Qadir, Amad Butt and Haris Rauf are the fresh blood in Pakistan troop and at least two of them will be awarded T20i cap today.
Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim are regular performer for Pakistan in recent days and have firm knowledge on Bangladesh cricket since they are very common faces in Bangladesh domestic crickets.
Among 10 previous, T20i meets between two rivals Bangladesh sealed victory twice against eight defeats. But top-ranked Pakistan were swept cleanly at home by Australia in a two-match series and Sri Lanka whitewashed them in a three-match T20i series next. Nine-ranked Bangladesh on the other hand, had also lost the latest T20i series to India but 2-1 margin. So, nobody is favourite in this series.
The next two matches of the series are will be held on January 25 and 27 at the same venue.