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Bangladesh look to maintain their dominance over Zimbabwe despite Tamim Iqbal’s absence


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The hosts were swept 3-0 in the preceding ODI series

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The opening T20I against Zimbabwe will be Bangladesh’s first of potentially 16 matches in their lead-up to the T20 World Cup in October-November, including matches against Australia, New Zealand and England.

In the injury-enforced absence of Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh’s batting line-up will bank on Mohammad Naim and Liton Das for fast starts. Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah will be in charge of the middle order and the team management will hope that at least one of them can bat deep to guide Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan and Mahedi Hasan in the slog overs.

Bangladesh have the option of picking a four-member pace attack, with the two left-armers Shoriful Islam and Mustafizur Rahman bowling at specific phases. They also have Soumya Sarkar and Shamim Hossain among the back-up batters while left-arm spinner Nasum Ahmed and legspinner Aminul Islam add to the bowling options.

Zimbabwe were blanked 3-0 in the preceding ODI series, but they can take heart from their batting performance in the final ODI where the posted 298. Regis Chakabva has been in top form, having made a career-best 84 in the final ODI to back up his 54 in the first match. Wessley Madhevere has threatened big scores, while Ryan Burl and Sikandar Raza also made fifties in the third game.

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