Bangladesh will look to carry the momentum that they gained in the drawn first Test by posting their first-ever Test win against Pakistan when the second and final Test match of the series starts in Dhaka today. The Tigers have their confidence in an all-time high after the remarkable show in Khulna where they overcame a 296-run deficit to avoid a defeat for the first time in nine matches against Pakistan.
The spirited fight-back followed their dominant form in the limited-overs contests, making it already their best ever series and the Tigers are now just awaiting for their one final reward.
Captain Mushfiqur Rahim said his team would go into the match at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium staying positive that the victory can be achieved.
‘We have one goal and that is to win the final Test of the series,’ said Mushfiq. ‘We will do whatever it takes to win and everyone is working hard for it.
‘We have played good cricket over the last one month and it would be great to finish the series on a high.’
Mushfiq said he was fit to keep wicket after hurting a finger on the
right hand while attempting a catch in Khulna. It left uncapped Liton Das still waiting for his chance as the team management decided to exclude him from the list of probable 12 players for the match.
‘I kept wicket at the nets today and felt good,’ Mushfiq said on Tuesday.
‘I will test myself again before the toss because I want to make sure I am ready to do the job well.’
Paceman Abul Hasan is the other player to have been left out from the probable 12 leaving it a choice between Soumya Sarkar and leg-spinner Jubair Hossain.
Mushfiq indicated the Tigers may take an extra bowler considering their chance for win on a pitch that produces result more often than not.
His Pakistani counterpart Misbah-ul Haq said the pitch in Dhaka was different from the featherbed in Khulna, on which just 26 wickets fell during the high-scoring draw.
‘This pitch looks to have more pace and bounce from the one in the first Test,’ said Misbah. ‘There will be something for everyone and I hope we are going to get a result in the match.’
Misbah predicted a close contest, with both teams desperate to prove themselves.
‘There is no doubt that Bangladesh are playing well but no side will start as favourites,’ he said. ‘The focus for us should be to forget what happened in the past and think of what awaits us.’
Pakistan have brought in all-rounder Bilawal Bhatti to replace seamer Rahat Ali.
The all-rounder stood with a good chance to play in the game as many in the Pakistan camp believe his off-cutters could be effective against in form Tamim Iqbal.
Tamim received a bruise in his toe when a yorker of Junaid Khan hit him in the first Test. He also has a hamstring problem but Mushfiq said they cannot deter him from playing.
-With New Age input