Tigers to face Pakistan today

Bangladesh will face visiting Pakistan in the first of three-match series of the shortest format of the cricket at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium today (Friday).

The match which will be aired live on Gazi TV and T Sports starts at 2 PM. For the first time since the outbreak of Covid-19, fans are being allowed to enter into the stadium to enjoy the game but they need to be vaccinated and aged over 18.

The team that Bangladesh will field will be a completely new look from the one that played in the T20 World Cup recently. As many as six players were called up including four new comers in response to catastrophic performances in the global event in which Bangladesh failed to register any victory in the Super 12s.

For the first time in many years, Bangladesh will be without their three stalwarts in the game-Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal were unavailable due to injuries and Mushfiqur Rahim was rested. The only senior player in the side remains Mahmudullah Riyad who retained his captaincy despite a poor outing in the World Cup.

From the World Cup party, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar and Rubel Hossain were left out and allrounder Saifuddin missed the series due to his recurring back pain.

Najmul Hossain Shanto and Aminul Islam Biplob have been recalled while Under-19 World Cup winning captain Akbar Ali, Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali Chowdhury and pacer Shohidul Islam made the cut as fresh bloods in this format.

Pakistan are an inform side despite losing the semifinal to eventual champion Australia in the T20 World Cup. Barring one bad game in the knock out phase, they won all of their matches in the Group phase, including first ever World Cup win against archrivals India.

Winning even a one game in the three-match series against Pakistan will be a tougher job but Bangladesh could find the motivation from the past. The last two times they faced off Pakistan in this format at home, they won those
two games-in 2015 in a one-off T20 match in a bilateral series and in 2016 Asia Cup.

Bangladesh’s T20 squad: Mahmudullah Riyad (captain), Naim Sheikh, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Shak Mahedi Hasan, Aminul Islam Biplob, Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Shamim Hossain, Nasum Ahmed, Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Shohidul Islam, Akbar Ali.

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Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain) Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Junior, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shoaib Malik