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Upbeat Pakistan take on Bangladesh in first Test today

Upbeat Pakistan take on Bangladesh in first Test today
November 25, 2021 --- Web Desk

CHATTOGRAM (92 News) – Abdullah Shafique and Imamul Haq will have anxious moments as Pakistan take on Bangladesh in the first Test in Chattogram on Friday.

Both the openers were named in the 12-player squad that did not include fast bowler Mohammad Abbas, a confirmation that bowling responsibilities will be shared between Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Nauman Ali and Sajid Khan.

Abdullah has been with the side since the start of the year and has stroked two centuries in three first-class matches, while Imam has reclaimed his place after scoring 488 runs in five Quaid-e-Azam Trophy innings. In 11 Tests, he has scored 485 runs at 25.5.

Whether the team management opts for Abdullah or Imam, Abid Ali will definitely have a new opener partner.

Shan Masood was Abid’s partner for the Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, England and New Zealand Tests, while Imran Butt opened the innings with Abid in the Tests against South Africa, Zimbabwe and West Indies.

Apart from the opener, the middle-order seems pretty stable and settled with Azhar Ali, Babar Azam and Fawad Alam, followed by wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan at No 6.

Bangladesh will be without experienced Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan with the former still recovering from a finger injury and latter not available due to a hamstring injury.

The home side are considering as many as three Test debutants in this game. Captain Mominul Haq has hinted that Mahmudul Hasan may open while Yasir Ali is a strong candidate at No 6. Rookie fast bowler Rejaur Rahman may also play ahead of Ebadot Hossain.

The momentum is also against Bangladesh who lost all the three T20Is despite preparing slow, low and turning tracks. Pakistan won the first T20I by four wickets while chasing 128 for victory, second by eight wickets after being set a 109-run target and third by five wickets on the last ball in pursuit of a 125-run target.

Pakistan have played three series in Bangladesh and won five of the six Tests, with their last win in Dhaka in May 2015 by 328 runs. Azhar Ali and Mushfiqur Rahim are the only players from either sides to participate in that match.

Azhar had scored 226 and 25, while Mushfiq scored 12 and zero as Azhar walked away with the player of the match, which will also be remembered for centuries from Younis Khan (148) and Asad Shafiq (107) as well as match figures of 36.3-7-128-7 by Yasir Shah, who will miss the series as he is yet to recover from a thumb injury he sustained during the National T20.

Pakistan squad (from): Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, wicketkeeper), Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan and Shaheen Shah Afridi

Bangladesh squad (from): Mominul Haque (captain), Shadman Islam, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Abu Jayed Chowdhury, Yasir Ali, Mahmudul Hasan, Rejaur Rahman.