Zimbabwe had a month of rare success. After dominating the T20 World Championship qualifying tournament, they recorded the first win of the T20I series over Bangladesh. There was a lot of fun and partying at Harare Sports Club. But the focus must now quickly shift to ODI, a format where there is a huge gap between the two teams this year. Bangladesh also faced Zimbabwe on a 19-game winning streak.
That includes last year’s 3-0 win. This series was part of the ICC ODI Super League but this series was not. However, Tamim Iqbal has made it clear that Bangladesh these days cannot afford to take series lightly.
Zimbabwe will be without key players Craig Ervine (knee and knee injuries) and Sean Williams, who are both sidelined for personal reasons. Regis Chakabva is the reserve captain in Ervine’s absence.
Established seamstresses Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani are also absent. Less experienced Bradley Evans and Victor Nyauchi, who played effectively in the third T20I a few days ago, are part of the new ODI squad. The pair will join Richard Ngarava and Luke Jongwe in the bowling assault, with Wellington Masakadza taking the lead. Zimbabwe will need to rely heavily on Sikandar Raza, Wessly Madhevere and Ryan Burl in the batting department, who have a number of inexperienced players.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, are hoping their Zimbabwe tour will improve with Tamim and Mushfiqur Rahim in batting. You’ll expect the likes of Najmul Hossain Shanto and Mosaddek Hossain to shine with the sledgehammer, while Tamim might prefer three seamstresses for the morning departures to Harare. It would mean Taskin Ahmed returning to the ODI formation after losing two ODIs in the West Indies.
Overall, Bangladesh Will Remain On High Alert After Zimbabwe Showed So Much Heart In T20I.
Zimbabwe LLLLW (last five games completed; most recent first)
In The Spotlight
Ryan Burl became one of the most talked about cricketers this week when he scored 34 points in an over against Bangladesh. It was the second-highest run in a single over in T20Is as Burl helped Zimbabwe win the series 2-1. He doesn’t have big numbers in the ODI this year but Zimbabwe hopes he’ll bring some of that confidence to the longer format as they embark on a long ODI run against Bangladesh, India and Australia.
Taskin Ahmed was the Bangladesh player in the series against South Africa in March but a shoulder injury sidelined him. Taskin has been ruthless since his tour of South Africa, having played just one ODI in the West Indies and two T20Is in which he hit 88 runs in seven overs. Tamim Iqbal would expect a stronger performance from Taskin as a three-man fight is guaranteed at Harare Sports Club.
Zimbabwe need to make at least five changes from the side who last played against Afghanistan against ODI in June. Takudzwanashe could beat Kaitano in the top order while Luke Jongwe, Evans and Nyauchi could be the three attackers.
Zimbabwe (probable): 1st Innocent Kaia, 2nd Wessly Madhevere, 3rd Takudzwanashe Kaitano, 4th Sikandar Raza, 5th Regis Chakabva (Capt & Wk), 6th Ryan Burl, 7th Milton Shumba, 8th Luke Jongwe, 9 Brad Evans 10 Wellington Masakadza 11 Victor Nyauchi
For Bangladesh, Mushfiqur Rahim will return to the mid-range after skipping the West Indies tour, but the lack of handyman means there is likely to be a long queue.
Bangladesh (likely): 1 Tamim Iqbal (Captain), 2 Litton Das, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (sept), 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Mosaddek Hossain, 7 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 8 Taskin Ahmed, 9 Taijul Islam, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11. Scholastic Islam
Field And Conditions
The Harare Sports Club courts were quite bat-friendly during the T20I series earlier this week, but in the ODI over the past five years, the teams who have beaten first have scored an average of 225. Probably 12 out of 21 teams they lost when they beat first. The weather is said to be dry throughout the series.