Pakistan v Bangladesh: First Test, match preview


Chittagong: Abdullah Shafiq and Imam-ul-Haq are in Chittagong for the final selection before the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong on Friday.

Both the openers have been included in the 12-man squad, with Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hassan Ali, Fahim Ashraf, Noman Ali and Sajid Khan sharing bowling responsibilities.

Abdullah has scored two centuries in three first-class matches since the beginning of the year, while Imam received the award after scoring 488 runs in five innings of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. In 11 Tests, he has scored 485 runs at an average of 25.5.

Pakistan will play with Abid Ali Abdullah or Imam. Earlier, Abid had opened Tests with Shaun Masood in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England and New Zealand. In addition, Abid teamed up with Imran Butt in Tests against South Africa, Zimbabwe and the West Indies.

Pakistan has confidence in the middle order with Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and Fawad Alam, followed by wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan at No. 6.

Bangladesh will not have the experience of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan as both are not available due to injuries.

Bangladesh will offer three Test debuts in the game. Captain Mominul Haq has hinted that Mahmood Al Hasan can open while Yasir Ali is a strong candidate at No.6. Fraudulent fast bowler Reja-ur-Rehman can also play ahead of Ibadat Hussain.

After a disappointing performance in the T20 series, Bangladesh also has limited opportunities in the Test series. Chasing 128 for victory, Pakistan won the first T20 by four wickets, the second by eight wickets after reaching the target of 109 runs and the third by five wickets on the last ball in pursuit of the target of 125 runs.

Pakistan has played three series in Bangladesh and won five of the six Tests, its last win was in May 2015 in Dhaka by 328 runs. Azhar Ali and Mushfiqur Rahim are the only players from both sides who took part in the match.

Azhar scored 226 and 25 while Mushfiqur scored 12 and zero when Azhar went on to be the best player of the match. The numbers will also be remembered. 7-128-7 by Yasir Shah, who will miss the series as he has not yet recovered from the thumb injury he suffered during the National T20.

Pakistan Squad (From): Babar Azam (captain), Muhammad Rizwan (vice-captain, wicket-keeper), Abdullah Shafiq, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Fahim Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Hassan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Noman Ali, Sajid Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Bangladesh squad (from): Mominul Haq (Captain), Shadman Islam, Saif Hassan, Najam Hussain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Lytton Das, Noorul Hassan, Mehdi Hassan Miraz, Naeem Hassan, Tejul Islam, Ibadat Hussain Chaudhry, Abu Jaid Chaudhry, Yasir Ali, Mahmood Al Hassan, Mahmood Al Hassan.

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