From the squad against Sri Lanka last year, Anamul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman and Rubel Hossain have made way for captain Mashrafe, Saifuddin and Liton. Naim could make his debut, while Bangladesh have Taijul Islam, Al Amin Hossain and Shafiul Islam as bowling options.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tamim Iqbal 2 Mohammad Naim, 3 Liton Das, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Mohammad Mithun, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Afif Hossain, 8 Mohammad Saifuddin, 9 Mehidy Hasan, 10 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Chibhabha and Maruma are the likely new opening pair, though Tinashe Kamunhukamwe could also be in the picture. Zimbabwe also have 19-year-old spin-bowling allrounder Wesley Madhevere fresh out of the Under-19 side.
Zimbabwe (probable): 1 Chamu Chibhabha (capt), 2 Timycen Maruma, 3 Craig Ervine, 4 Brendan Taylor (wk), 5 Sean Williams, 6 Sikandar Raza, 7 Tinotenda Mutombodzi, 8 Donald Tiripano, 9 Ainsley Ndlovu, 10 Chris Mpofu, 11 Carl Mumba
The Mashrafe Mortaza retirement speculation circus has taken the spotlight in Bangladesh, turning the ODI series against Zimbabwe into a bit of a sideshow. To add more spice to the unfolding melodrama, BCB president Nazmul Hassan has already said that this is going to be Mashrafe’s last series as captain.
Pitch and conditions
Sylhet typically offers a pitch without much grass and with even bounce. Plenty of runs are available if batsmen give it a bit of time. The weather should be clear.
Stats and trivia
- Tamim Iqbal is 108 runs short of becoming the first Bangladesh batsman to score 7000 ODI runs.
- Bangladesh have won the only ODI played at this venue, against West Indies in December 2018.