As the coin will be flipped in the match between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, it will mark the 100th international match between the sides. In the 99 matches till date, Bangladesh have reigned victorious 57 times. And in this Test at Mirpur, Bangladesh are very desperate for their 58th.
Despite this Test not being a part of the World Test Championship (WTC), Bangladesh will be looking forward to winning this match and regaining their confidence. Mominul Haque will also try to do something significant as this will be his first match on home soil as skipper.
Bangladesh in shambles
Bangladesh have lost their last six Tests, among which five have been innings defeats. Their last Test at home was against newly-promoted Afghanistan and they lost that too, by a mammoth 224 runs.
Bangladesh are in dire need of a win and they will look to do that in their own den. Their main concern has been their batting as none of the Bangladeshi batsmen have managed to score a hundred in their last five Tests. The batsmen have often thrown away good starts along with the chance of laying the foundation for a big score.
But their skipper Mominul Haque believes that the team is going through a bad patch and can recover from that with a win.
"We are going through a bad patch as a team. Almighty willing, we are working on overcoming this. I am giving my word that someone from the team will play a big innings, will score 100, 200 or 300," Mominul said.
Bangladesh might sigh a relief as Mushfiqur Rahim has come back into the side after he opted out of the Pakistan series. Mushfiqur has been Bangladesh's mainstay in the middle-order and his return will surely help the Tigers. Mominul Haque was also relieved to see his senior compatriot back and said that Mushfiq's return boosted his confidence as a captain.
"Having Mushfiq bhai back is a big sigh of relief for me as the skipper. His return has boosted my confidence," Mominul added.
A Confident Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe have a sweet memory of their last Test series here at Bangladesh as they had beaten Bangladesh at Sylhet then in 2018. They are looking forward to reciprocating their heroics.
And their recent Test outing must boost their confidence. They held Sri Lanka at home in a Test and despite losing in the other, managed to give a good fight.
And they now will face Bangladesh who are already under pressure because of their recent outings. Their captain, Craig Ervine also emphasised on that as he said Bangladesh are expected to win at home.
"Bangladesh are always under a little bit more pressure at home. With their recent results, they will be under more pressure. They are at home and expected to win. It obviously plays into our hands. We have to focus on our processes and strengths, and not worry too much about Bangladesh," Ervine said.
Bangladesh head Russell Domingo gave out some clues about the lineup in the pre-match press conference at Mirpur on Friday. He said that left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman will not play as he (Domingo) does not deem him (Mustafiz) to be ready for Test cricket. Also, Hasan Mahmud will not be playing any part as he is off to Chattogram to play in the final of the 8th Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL).
Domingo also said that a couple of seamers will play and that is likely to be Abu Jayed Rahi and Ebadot Hossain.
Bangladesh will also have another change as well as Mushfiq will come back in the middle-order and is likely to bat at No. 5 with Mohammad Mithun dropping to the No. 6 position vacated by Mahmudullah Riyad who was dropped.
Bangladesh Possible XI: Tamim Iqbal, Saif Hassan, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque ©, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das (wk), Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain, Abu Jayed Rahi
Zimbabwe are likely to bring only one change from their eleven which drew against Zimbabwe as Timycen Maruma will fill in for their absent skipper Sean Williams. Also, Christopher Mpofu might be considered for the eleven considering his credentials against Bangladesh during his early days.
Zimbabwe Possible XI: Prince Masvaure, Kevin Kasuza, Craig Ervine (c), Brendan Taylor, Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva (wk), Timycen Maruma, Carl Mumba, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Donald Tiripano/Christopher Mpofu, Victor Nyauchi