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Bangladesh Cricket Gears Up for T20 World Cup with Zimbabwe Series

Bangladesh Cricket Gears Up for T20 World Cup with Zimbabwe Series

Bangladesh kick off their T20 World Cup preparations with a five-match series against Zimbabwe starting May 3rd. While Zimbabwe didn’t qualify for the World Cup, they aim to spoil the party for the hosts who are looking to address recent shortcomings.

Don’t be fooled by Zimbabwe’s World Cup absence. They shocked Bangladesh in their last T20I series on home soil in 2022. Bangladesh can’t afford to underestimate their opponents, especially considering the lingering fan theory that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) only schedules Zimbabwe series when Bangladesh needs a confidence boost.

Bangladesh will be without key players Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman for the initial matches. Shakib is recovering from a long journey and will prepare in the Dhaka Premier League. Mustafizur, returning from the IPL in top form, will rejoin the squad later.

Bangladesh Players to Watch

Litton Das needs runs after a dry spell against Sri Lanka. Newcomer Tanzid Hasan eyes an opening spot alongside the recovering Soumya Sarkar. Jaker Ali looks to build on his strong performance against Sri Lanka. Mohammad Saifuddin returns after a year and a half battling a back injury. The fight for the second spinner slot behind Shakib heats up between Mahedi Hasan and Tanvir Islam. Rishad Hossain aims to continue his impressive season.

Bangladesh’s strong T20I run in 2023 faltered against Sri Lanka in March. While they bounced back in the second match, Nuwan Thushara’s hat-trick exposed mental vulnerabilities. Captain Najmul Hossain Shanto needs to ensure his team is focused and avoids repeating these lapses.

Zimbabwe’s Road to Redemption

Zimbabwe haven’t had the best run lately. They missed the World Cup qualification, lost series to Ireland and Sri Lanka, and haven’t won a white-ball series in Bangladesh since 2001. However, some players participated in the successful Zimbabwe Emerging side’s African Games gold medal win. They look forward to showcasing their talent and have a busy schedule ahead, including a T20I series against India and a Test against Ireland.

Bangladesh faces a heatwave, but rain might interrupt the series, especially in Dhaka during the final two matches. This series will be a crucial test for Bangladesh as they gear up for the T20 World Cup challenge.