Sports Extra

Bangladesh take on England in 1st Test tomorrow

After having lost out on a closely contested ODI series against England, Bangladesh embark on a new mission to avenge their defeat as the face mighty England in the first Test of Rocket two-match Test Series scheduled to begin tomorrow (Thursday) at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.

Private satellite channel Gazi TV will live broadcast the Test that kicks off at 10 am.

The Tigers had a successful journey in home since the past 18 months especially in the ODI format. Series victories against the big guns like South Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India have given them a full of confidence in the limited 50-over format.

Bangladesh are resuming the format after a gap of more than 14 months, while by the end of year England will have played 17 Tests in 2016 including seven in eight weeks on the subcontinent.

The visitors have won all their eight Tests against Bangladesh - by comfortable margins as well, although sometimes after plenty of toil - but arguably are not the overwhelming favourites that history would suggest given the potential of a youthful top order and continued questions over their spin bowling.

Bangladesh on the other hand, last played their Test against South Africa last year, which is a testimony to how good a side they are in that format. The home side will be led by experienced batsman Mushfiqur Rahim, who has been their most famed and popular batsmen in the recent past.

Bangladesh will now face England in a two-Test series which will be the acid test of their character and skills. England once again will be led by Alastair Cook and see the return of stalwarts like Joe Root, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood, which makes the visitors a really formidable side.

Mushfiqur himself is considered one of the dependable batsmen in Bangladesh squad in longer version cricket and his batting will look to lead his side from the front. Local lad Tamim Iqbal as his deputy he has a strong supporting hand by his side.

Famed allrounder Shakib Al Hasan remain to be the most experienced player in the side, will be expected to boost up the team studded with the youngsters.

Imrul Kayes was looked promising and was shine with bat scoring a brilliant hundred in the ODI series against England and he will again want to show his authority Testl. Sabbir Rahman has an average of 30.20 in Test though it's not extraordinary but is not bad either for a cricketer who played only 26 games.

He will hope to show his batting skill once in the middle. Skipper Mushfiqur will must have to lead the batting unit from the front if Bangladesh want to do something good against the English side.

Bangladesh have superb bowling combination having as many as four spinners - Shakib, Shuvagata Hom, Taijul Islam and Mehedi Hasan. However the fast bowling department looks as thin compare to spin as ever with only Shafiqul Islam and Kamrul Islam Rabbi will provide the assistance.

Bangladesh's top six will be exactly the one that played the last Test, but the rest of the line-up will be changed. Sabbir Rahman and 18-year-old offspinner Mehedi Hasan are most likely to make their Test debuts and if the home side go with two pace bowlers, Kamrul Islam Rabbi would also be making his debut. If Mushfiqur keeps wicket, Nurul Hasan will be sitting out.

England will have to make at least three changes from their last Test XI, with Alex Hales (opted out), James Vince (dropped) and James Anderson (injured) unavailable. Hameed and Duckett are likely to make their debut at Nos. 2 and 4 respectively while Stokes' return brings all-round influence. The third spinner spot is between the Surrey pair of Batty and the uncapped Zafar Ansari.

England's bowling attacks looks much more heavy as compared to its ODI squad with the inclusion of Broad and Wood.

England's newest recruit Jake Ball has been the find of the summer for them and will be hoped of some outstanding bowling. Ball in his ODI debut captured a five-wicket against Bangladesh, so he will be known to the challenges of bowling in those conditions.

Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Gareth Batty will handle England's spinning duties while Rashid hopes to continue his wicket taking form from the ODI series and into the Tests.

Squads

Bangladesh (probable) 1. Tamim Iqbal, 2. Imrul Kayes, 3. Mominul Haque, 4. Mahmudullah, 5. Shakib Al Hasan, 6. Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), 7. Sabbir Rahman, 8. Mehedi Hasan, 9. Shafiul Islam, 10. Taijul Islam and

11. Kamrul Islam Rabbi.

England (probable) 1. Alastair Cook (capt), 2. Haseeb Hameed, 3. Joe Root, 4. Ben Duckett, 5. Ben Stokes, 6. Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7. Moeen Ali, 8. Chris Woakes, 9. Adil Rashid, 10. Gareth Batty and 11 Stuart Broad.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)