With the three-match series in the bag, Pakistan are likely to continue tinkering with their starting XI for Monday’s fixture in Dhaka
Pakistan aren’t renowned for learning from their mistakes quickly, but over the weekend, this side righted one wrong from six years ago. In 2015, days after the World Cup ended, Pakistan went to Bangladesh for a three-match ODI series and a solitary T20I. Undercooked, perhaps even unmotivated, they found themselves flayed by the home side, who ultimately sent Saeed Ajmal into international retirement. In 2021, with Pakistan having to turn up in Bangladesh again to play a limited-overs series just five days after another World Cup concluded, they have shown none of the hangovers from 2015, taking the most efficient path to a series win.
The home side are in freefall and it might have some way to run yet. Series wins against Australia and New Zealand before the T20 World Cup turned out to be completely irrelevant when it came to performances at the tournament, with Bangladesh failing to win a single Super 12s game, while the two sides they vanquished on home soil competed in the final. Returning to familiar comforts against Pakistan, too, hasn’t given them any respite, and two fairly indifferent performances, despite the return of a raucous crowd, see them playing for pride on Monday.
Bangladesh: LLLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Bangladesh announced late on Saturday that pace bowler Kamrul Islam Rabbi and batter Parvez Hossain Emon were added to their squad for the third game. Both players are yet to make their T20I debuts.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Mohammad Naim, 2 Saif Hassan, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Yasir Ali, 5 Mahmudullah (capt), 6 Afif Hossain, 7 Nurul Hasan (wk), 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Aminul Islam/Kamrul Islam Rabbi, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Taskin Ahmed
Pakistan have tinkered with their line-up in the first two games, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that continue. Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi each got a rest, so Haris Rauf could be in line for the same in the final game.
Pakistan (probable): 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 3 Fakhar Zaman, 4 Haider Ali, 5 Shoaib Malik, 6 Khushdil Shah, 7 Shadab Khan, 8 Mohammad Nawaz, 9 Hasan Ali, 10 Mohammad Wasim, 11 Haris Rauf/Shaheen Afridi
Pitch and conditions
The pitches in Dhaka were what we’ve come to expect from Bangladesh, and the two-paced nature and lack of bounce kept scores low in the first two games. The weather should not play spoilsport.
Stats and trivia
- Bangladesh last lost a home T20I series in December 2018, when West Indies beat them 2-1. They won the last three home bilateral series before the ongoing one
- Shoaib Malik is 77 runs away from becoming the third Pakistan batter inside a month to reach 2500 T20I runs. Mohammad Hafeez and Babar Azam got to the landmark at the T20 World Cup in the UAE
Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000
(With Inputs from ESPN)
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