The one-off Test between Bangladesh and Afghanistan will be played at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
The match starts at 10:00 AM local time (9:30 AM IST) (04:00 AM GMT).
Earlier this year, Afghanistan won their maiden Test match versus Ireland in Dehradun. The team, led by Asghar Afghan, equalled England and Pakistan in the list of least number of matches taken (two) to win their maiden Test. It’s now their turn to lock horns with Bangladesh in a one-off Test and their task won’t be easy as the Tigers are extremely tough to beat in their home conditions.
But the Afghans have the spin resources to succeed in slow and low pitches. It’s also Rashid Khan’s first international match as the skipper of the national team. The hosts last beat the West Indies at home in a Test series where on one instance, they went in with an all-spin attack. However, the same tactic may not be as effective versus the Afghans, who have quality spinners in their ranks.
The weather forecast doesn’t much show predictions of rain. Only on Day four, the heavens may open up for a brief while. But the clouds will be there throughout and the sun is unlikely to make its way out. There will be thunderstorms as well. The temperature will be around the 27 degrees Celsius and 33 degrees Celsius during match time.
The track at the venue seems to be a free flowing one as in the 18 Tests thus far, runs have been scored at a rate of 3.34 per over. The pitch has also produced as many as six drawn games. The strip isn’t expected to have much of grass and may break as the game progresses. The spinners are set to shoulder a chunk of the responsibility.
Probable Playing XIs:
Shadman Islam, Soumya Sarkar, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan (C), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Liton Das, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed/Abu Jayed Rahi
Bench: Ebadat Hossain, Taskin Ahmed/Abu Jayed Rahi, Mohammad Mithun
Ihsanullah Janat, Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Ikram Ali Khil (wk)/Afsar Zazai (wk), Rashid Khan, Zahir Khan Pakteen, Yamin Ahmadzai, Sayed Shirzad
Bench: Javed Ahmadi, Shapoor Zadran, Qais Ahmed, Ikram Ali Khil/Afsar Zazai
(Will be added when there’s an update).
Mehidy Hasan Miraz has 58 wickets in 10 Tests at home at an average of 20.68. He also has scored 320 runs at an average of 22.85 with a top score of 68* against Zimbabwe.
Mominul Haque has a batting average of 56.97 in 21 Tests at home, having scored 1,937 runs. All his eight Test tons have come at home.
Ihsanullah Janat has an average of 66.80 in first-class cricket. He also got a fifty versus Ireland. Most importantly, he got a 137-ball 62 in the warm-up match and was retired out.
Captain and Vice-Captain Selection:
Captain Options: Shakib Al Hasan, Rashid Khan, Mominul Haque
Vice-Captain Options: Mushfiqur Rahim, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Mohammad Nabi
Suggested Playing XI for Head to Head/Small Leagues:
Keeper – Mushfiqur Rahim (VC)
Batsmen – Ihsanullah Janat, Rahmat Shah, Mahmudullah
All-Rounders – Mohammad Nabi, Shakib Al Hasan (C), Mehidy Hasan Miraz
Bowlers – Rashid Khan, Zahir Khan Pakteen, Taijul Islam, Nayeem Hasan
Suggested Playing XI for Grand Leagues/Mega Leagues:
Keeper – Liton Das
Batsmen – Ibrahim Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Mominul Haque
All-Rounders – Shakib Al Hasan, Soumya Sarkar, Mehidy Hasan Miraz (VC)
Bowlers – Rashid Khan (C), Yamin Ahmadzai, Taijul Islam
Pack your team with spinners, as simple as that. The pacers may not have much role to play.
It will be tough to completely rule out Afghanistan, but Bangladesh will have the upper hand, bearing in mind their familiarity with the conditions.
*Disclaimer: This team is based on the understanding, analysis and instinct of the author. While selecting your team, consider the points mentioned and make your own decision.
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