Bangladesh players, on the back of some impressive domestic performances, will be hoping to brush off their recent dismal run in Tests when they take on Pakistan in the first World Test Championship fixture starting today at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.
The extent of their Test haplessness can be gauged from their record in 2019, when their best result was a thumping 224-run defeat against Afghanistan at home in September. The other four Tests played last year all saw the Tigers at the receiving end of innings defeats.
However, the only positive for the Tigers will be the fact that four of the players -- Mahmudullah Riyad, Mominul Haque, Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das -- who travelled to Pakistan for the second phase of a three-stage tour smashed tons in the opening round of the ongoing Bangladesh Cricket League (BCL). The presence of Tamim -- fresh from his first ever first-class triple hundred -- will perhaps be the biggest boost.
Meanwhile Bangladesh, who haven’t been able to win their last five Tests, also don’t have a very good record against Pakistan. Playing a total of 10 Tests, Bangladesh lost nine with the only draw coming at home in 2015 at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna. However, skipper Mominul Haque was positive about breaking the jinx and getting back to winning ways.
“Look, we need to break the jinx at some point. So, we are ready to break it. Everyone prepared well for the Test and as a result we are very hopeful regarding this fixture,” said Mominul during the press-conference following their first and only practice session in Rawalpindi yesterday.
Mominul, who himself is yet to prove his abilities overseas, also mentioned Bangladesh’s struggles while playing Tests away from home.
“Expectation is to play good cricket. You know we are not good at playing overseas. So, we are trying to improve here,” continued Mominul.
For Mominul, who is still very fresh as a captain, having led the side in just two Tests -- during the India tour in November last year -- faces an uphill task as the skipper looks to steer the struggling team to a better position in the longer format.
The challenge for Mominul will be immense as the Tigers will be without Shakib Al Hasan, who is banned for one year, and Mushfiqur, who opted not to tour Pakistan over security fears.
Bangladesh lost all five Tests played last year. Their best result was a 224-run humiliation against Afghanistan at home with the rest being all innings defeats.
More than 16 years later, Bangladesh still rue the day when Inzamam-ul-Haq scored an unbeaten ton and handed Bangladesh a one-wicket loss in Multan in September, 2003. That was the closest Bangladesh came to winning a game against Pakistan, losing nine of the 10 games with a solitary draw.
Bangladesh have been on the receiving end of four innings defeats by Pakistan so far.