Rawalpindi is all set to host the Test between Pakistan and Bangladesh from tomorrow. Both the side are meeting each other after five years in the elite format of the game and playing in Pakistan after 17 years.
As the Test cricket has started to revive back in Pakistan, green shirts will now look to build on the winning momentum and also start the year with a win.
Pakistan are coming in the series with few changes to their squad and strengthened their side with all-round options of Bilal Asif and Faheem Ashraf. Both are expected to play as Bilal will provide his off-spin capabilities due to the majority of left-handers in the Bangladesh team. Faheem Ashraf might also be included if the pitch supports the pacers and Pakistan also went with four seamers against Sri Lanka at Pindi in December 2019.
Pakistan had a great Test in Karachi with a number of individual performances. Young bowling duo of Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah picked a fifer with Mohammad Abbas claiming wickets at the crucial occasions too. Batsmen also had a great time in the middle as there were hundreds for Shan Masood, Abid Ali, captain Azhar Ali and Babar Azam in the second-innings
Bangladesh head Russell Domingo is yet to make a breakthrough in Test cricket as he is still without a win since his appointment. Bangladesh is coming with very heavy defeats against India as they lost by an innings in both the match of the series.
The 30-year-old Tamim Iqbal is coming in Test cricket after ten months and also smashed a record triple-century in a first-class game last week. His presence will be the key as they are without the two experienced players, Shakib ul Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim. Left-hander Mominul Haque who has a perfect chance as a skipper to stamp his authority as the Tigers are coming with five straight defeats in Tests.
It is also a perfect opportunity for Lion Das in the absence of Mushfiqur to shine with gloves. Mohammad Mithun and Najmul Hossain Shanto will also be eager to perform at the highest level.
In the bowling attack, Bangladesh will be more dependent on their experience Test spinner, Taijul Islam. With a great form in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), Rubel Hossain is expected to play after 18 months.
The weather forecast is expected to remain better as compared to the last Test in December when the majority of the Pakistan-Sri Lanka game was washed out due to excessive rain on Day two, three and four.