Date: November 19, 2021
Time: 1:30 PM IST
Venue: Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Dhaka
It's time for the beginning of another cycle of T20 cricket as all the teams begin their preparations for the next World Cup set to take place in Australia. Bangladesh are set to host Pakistan for an exciting 3-match T20I series, with the opening contest scheduled to take place on Friday in Dhaka. Considering the home advantage will be with Bangladesh and form advantage will be with Pakistan, fans can be certain of enjoying a thrilling game of cricket between two quality sides.
Unlike the T20 World Cup in UAE, toss won's play such a key factor in the T20I matches in Dhaka. In the last 10 matches played at this venue, teams batting first have won 6 matches while sides chasing have come out victorious on 4 occasions. In recent times, the wicket at Sher-e-Bangla stadium has been a nightmare for batsmen with spinners getting a lot of assistance on the slow and sluggish track. Batting first, a total of around 150-160 could actually prove to be a winning total.
Bangladesh: The Tigers did not have a great outing at the recently-concluded mega event in UAE as they lost all their 5 matches in the Super 12 stage to bow out of the tournament. However, Mahmudullah's side will be a force to reckon with at their home as they defeated both the finalists of T20 WC (Australia and New Zealand) in the bilateral T20 series just a couple of months back. But the absence of the experienced duo of Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan could prove to be a huge miss for Bangladesh, which certainly tilts the odds in favour of the visitors.
Pakistan: Babar Azam led side played some tremendous cricket in UAE but eventually fell short of lifting the trophy. They would be hoping to keep the disappointment aside and continue playing the brand of cricket that they displayed at the World Cup. With almost the same group of players set to feature in the 1st T20I, they would be hoping to starting the series on a positive note. While players like Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan and Shaheen Afridi are coming to this contest on the back of some brilliant form, the spin duo of Shadab Khan and Imad Wasim could prove to be the difference for them in the tricky Dhaka conditions, especially considering the fact that it's an afternoon game.
Bangladesh: Mahmudullah (c), Naim Sheikh, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mahedi Hasan, Aminul Islam Biplob, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Shamim Hossain, Nasum Ahmed, Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Shohidul Islam, Akbar Ali.
Pakistan: Babar Azam (c), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Iftikhar Ahmed, Shoaib Malik, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Usman Qadir.
Considering the head-to-head record and the recent form, Pakistan will be the strong favourites going into this contest. Although Bangladesh have the tendency to exploit the home conditions to their advantage, they are missing a few key players and they will have to pull a rabbit out of the hat to cause an upset in Dhaka.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the author's personal point of view. They neither reflect the opinion of SportsTiger nor advise anyone to make any prediction based on this. SportsTiger does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.