Bangladesh’s reputation as a team that is strong at home is on the line. Zimbabwe go to Dhaka not only with the cushion of a 1-0 lead in a two-Test series, but also the confidence of having dismantled the hosts for less than 200 in both innings in Sylhet. Bangladesh have failed to score more than 200 in eight consecutive Test innings now, a streak that raises plenty of questions, reports ESPN.
Imrul Kayes and Liton Das combined well as openers in the ODIs against Zimbabwe, but were guilty of carelessness against deliveries outside off in the first Test. It was a fault that Mominul Haque and Mahmudullah were also guilty of. The responsibility now falls on Mushfiqur Rahim to move up the order – he was at No. 6 in Sylhet – so that he can bat with other batsmen around him, instead of shoring up collapses with the tail for company.
Of Bangladesh’s two debutants in Sylhet, Ariful Haque had two decent outings but Najmul Hossain Shanto, a highly rated young batsman, came under scrutiny after two failures. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Mohammad Mithun makes his Test debut in Najmul’s place. Zimbabwe scored at run rates of only 2.40 and 2.75 in Sylhet, but their batsmen showed the capability of spending long periods at the crease. And no one better than Sean Williams, who made 88 off 173 balls in the first innings to put Zimbabwe in a position of strength. Hamilton Masakadza and Peter Moor also contributed half centuries to the victory, but Brendon Taylor and Sikandar Raza were short of runs. The visitors will hope their ability to play spin serves them well in Dhaka.
Zimbabwe had little to complain about their bowling. Tendai Chatara and Kyle Jarvis provided early breakthroughs and Raza led the spin attack in both innings, taking six wickets. Newcomers Brandon Mavuta and Wellington Masakadza bowled well in the second innings and will have to play a crucial role in Dhaka as well.
Like they did in Sylhet, Bangladesh’s spinners will have to play a pivotal role in the second Test. Taijul Islam had a superb game with his 11 wickets, but Mehidy Hasan Miraz may look to bowl differently in Dhaka. It will be interesting to see if Bangladesh continue with Nazmul Islam, who doesn’t offer much with his left-arm darts.