Upbeat hosts look to seal series
Bangladesh will not only eye their tenth series win over their once archrivals coming into a potentially series-deciding second of the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe today, they will also want to become a more consistent side at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram.
Considered a lucky ground for the hosts where they have won 10 of 17 games, they remain invincible against Zimbabwe here, having won five of six matches with the other being abandoned. And the Tigers will want to keep that record intact.
There are also certain areas in which Bangladesh will be hoping for a better show. Chief among those is the batting department, which has been dependent on individual heroics in the recent past.
Although the Tigers' openers have struck hundreds in the past two matches, there are questions of inconsistency when it comes to providing a good start through a collective effort.
After Liton Das smashed his maiden hundred in the final of the Asia Cup against India in the UAE, the right-hander failed to demonstrate consistency. He was dismissed cheaply after playing a rash short in the first game.
Imrul Kayes, who registered a career-best 144-run knock in the first ODI against Zimbabwe, has also been inconsistent since scoring an unbeaten 72 against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup, failing in the next two games before that match-winning knock.
Another concern is the Tigers losing quick wickets in a short span during crucial stages of the game. They faced a similar situation in the first ODI as they were reduced from 137 for three to 139 for six before Imrul and youngster Mohammad Saifuddin added a record 127-run seventh-wicket stand to put up a winning total of 271.
Bangladesh might consider themselves lucky to some extent that they have been able to overcome such situations quite frequently, especially this year, but even they know it cannot go on like that on the bigger stages and with the next year's World Cup around the corner.
Despite those mistakes, Bangladesh still have the luxury of providing opportunities to fresh faces in the absence of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan. Fazle Mahmud, who was out for a duck on debut in the first ODI, is expected to get another opportunity in the top order.
The team management are unlikely to make any changes to the playing eleven that won the first ODI by 28 runs in order to provide more opportunities to those who need them.
On the other hand Zimbabwe are expected to make some changes after a poor run of form recently with the experienced Elton Chigumbura, who was left out of the first game despite scoring a crucial 47 in the warm-up, expected to return to the side.