CHITTAGONG (Dunya News) - Pakistan will be keen to carry forward their T20I form into Tests when they will take on hosts Bangladesh in the first Test of the two-match series in Chittagong today (Friday), Dunya News reported.
Pakistan s middle order has to be assertive as they struggle to put together an opening combination. Azhar Ali and captain Babar Azam lend class and experience while Mohammad Rizwan and Fawad Alam tend to consistently contribute valuable runs lower down the order. Babar and Rizwan s success in opening in T20Is will need to be translated into middle-order dependency in Tests.
Bangladesh will be without experienced Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan with the former still recovering from a finger injury and latter not available due to a hamstring injury.
The home side are considering as many as three Test debutants in this game. Captain Mominul Haq has hinted that Mahmudul Hasan may open while Yasir Ali is a strong candidate at No 6. Rookie fast bowler Rejaur Rahman may also play ahead of Ebadot Hossain.
The momentum is also against Bangladesh who lost all the three T20Is despite preparing slow, low and turning tracks. Pakistan won the first T20I by four wickets while chasing 128 for victory, second by eight wickets after being set a 109-run target and third by five wickets on the last ball in pursuit of a 125-run target.
Pakistan have played three series in Bangladesh and won five of the six Tests, with their last win in Dhaka in May 2015 by 328 runs. Azhar Ali and Mushfiqur Rahim are the only players from either sides to participate in that match.
Azhar had scored 226 and 25, while Mushfiq scored 12 and zero as Azhar walked away with the player of the match, which will also be remembered for centuries from Younis Khan (148) and Asad Shafiq (107) as well as match figures of 36.3-7-128-7 by Yasir Shah, who will miss the series as he is yet to recover from a thumb injury he sustained during the National T20.
Pakistan squad (from): Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, wicketkeeper), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi
Bangladesh squad (from): Mominul Haque (captain), Shadman Islam, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Abu Jayed Chowdhury, Yasir Ali, Mahmudul Hasan, Rejaur Rahman.