The deck will be stacked against the Bangladesh cricket team when the first Test against Pakistan starts in Rawalpindi today.
Bangladesh have had a torrid time in Test cricket in 2019, losing all five matches, four of them by an innings. Even their best result was a humiliating one as they lost a home game against Test newcomers Afghanistan by 224 runs. With the tour of Pakistan being divided into three phases because of security fears, the Tigers have also had very little time to train and get acclimatised, with their only practice session taking place yesterday.
The Tigers also have a terrible record against Pakistan, having lost nine of the 10 matches between the countries so far. They will also be without talismanic all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who was banned for one year last October for not reporting corrupt approaches from a bookie, and star wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who chose not to tour Pakistan due to security concerns.
Skipper Mominul Haque – who took the reins after Shakib was banned – was however hopeful of the Tigers breaking the jinx in this Test. He will be counting on the likes of Tamim Iqbal – who hit a triple-ton in the Bangladesh Cricket League before the tour – and Mahmudullah Riyad, who hit a century in the BCL.
Bangladesh have lost all Tests they played in Pakistan, with the only draw against Pakistan coming at home in Khulna in 2015.