ZIMBABWE – A 23-member Zimbabwe contingent, led by Elton Chigumbura, arrived in Dhaka yesterday evening. Without spending much time at the airport, the team went straight to the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, where they, and the Tigers, will be residing during the two-week tour.
Officially the series begins on November 7 with the first ODI scheduled to take place at Mirpur that day. However, the first match of the tour will take place on Thursday when the visitors face-off against a BCB-XI at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah.
The African side hasn’t been in the best of forms lately, losing both the ODI and T20I series’ to Afghanistan at home last month. However, they did take part in a number of limited over contests, one of which saw them beat India in a T20I, in the last few months.
As far as their results with regards to Bangladesh are concerned, Zimbabwe have some catching up to do. The teams have faced each other 64 times so far and the Tigers lead by 36 to 28. The last time Zimbabwe were in Bangladesh was back in November, 2014 when the Tigers were going through one of their worst runs. Bangladesh had lost all their ODIs prior to that series that year, including an embarrassing defeat to Afghanistan.
However, that series changed it all for Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Co. They beat Zimbabwe 3-0 in the Tests and 5-0 in the ODIs.
While the Zimbabweans were busy gathering their luggage, the Tigers were attending a practice session in Mirpur which extended till late evening. Interestingly, one of the sessions saw the batsmen bat without stumps on the wickets.
Skipper Mashrafe later explained the strategy saying that the coach wanted the batters to expand their stroke-play by playing with a lot of freedom.
It’s a kind of training session that the Tigers may attend more often considering that the Asia Cup and World T20 are coming up next year.
If Bangladesh go on to win the ODI series 3-0, they will gain one rating point in the ICC rankings.