Bangladesh vs Afghanistan T20 Series: Tigers' first T20I today
12:00 AM, June 03, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:44 AM, June 03, 2018

Tigers' first T20I today

Bangladesh's opening T20I against Afghanistan will mark a couple of firsts. It will be the first bilateral series between the two teams at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Dehradun.

Ahead of the series opener, the Tigers sang to the tune of 'Oporadhi', a song by Arman Alif which features the lyrics 'maiya o maiya tui oporadhi rey' [Girl you are guilty], which went viral on YouTube with over 39 million views in the space of a month.

They also looked relaxed despite the eight-wicket defeat in the practice game against an Afghan XI and appeared focused on overcoming the army of spinners led by leg-spin prodigy Rashid Khan.

Despite facing each other just once in the game's shortest format, when Bangladesh had registered a comfortable nine-wicket win during the ICC World T20 in 2014, there is a sense of rivalry whenever these two sides lock horns.

Missing Mustafizur Rahman due to his toe injury may prove a crucial blow for Bangladesh while the likes of Rubel Hossain, Abu Jayed and Abu Hider will have to prove their worth in the fast bowling department.

"The only thing we want is to win and that's what we are focusing on. We want to give our best and prepare accordingly as it's a team game, rather than relying on one or two individuals. If we can play the way we played in the Nidahas Trophy, we might win," Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan said.

Afghanistan captain Asghar Stanikzai opined that it would be a tough series for both sides and added that the presence of the top-ranked T20I bowler, Rashid Khan, would provide tremendous confidence to his side.

"There are similarities between Bangladesh and Afghanistan as we both play from the heart so I think it will be a tough series for both sides," Stanikzai said.

However, the pitch will be the centre of attention as it was on the slower and lower side during the practice game while weather will also play a vital role since rain is forecast for the next few days.

There are also some individual milestones waiting for Shakib. If he can pick up two wickets in the first T20I he will become only the third cricketer to take 500 wickets and score 10,000 runs in all formats of international cricket. Shahid Afridi and Jacques Kallis are the others, but they needed more than 500 matches to do so while this will be Shakib's 300th game.

On the other hand, if Rashid scalps three wickets he will become the fastest to take fifty T20I wickets in terms of time and also the second fastest in terms of matches played.

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