DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) – Bangladesh is looking to test its reserves in the absence of key players Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal as it takes on Zimbabwe in the three-match ODI series, which starts Sunday.
Both players have finger injuries from the Asia Cup, where Bangladesh lost to India in a last-ball thriller.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said players had the chance to impress ahead of the one-day 2019 World Cup tournament.
“It’s an opportunity to test their mettle but, at the same time, it’s important to win the match and win the series,” Mortaza said.
Liton Das, who scored his first century in the Asia Cup final, and Mohammad Mithun who had two 60-plus knocks in the tournament, have given Bangladesh encouragement but it still needs to strengthen the depth of its squad.
“We have shortage of backup players, I mean backup players who can endure the pressure of international cricket,” Mortaza said.
This is the 16th bilateral series between the two sides since Bangladesh achieved test status in 2000.
Zimbabwe’s last away ODI victory against Bangladesh was in 2010 and it lost its last two series to Pakistan and South Africa without a single win.
“We are focused on tomorrow (Sunday) and on what we can achieve on this tour,” Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza said.
Some of Zimbabwe’s players have experience of playing in the Bangladesh Premier League T20 tournament.
“We are a little bit more familiar with them and the conditions,” Masakadza said. “We stand a very good chance as a team, especially compared to other international teams. I think it will be a very competitive series.”
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