Memories of the 4-1 series loss by the national cricket team away to rivals Bangladesh in October last year are still fresh in the minds of some of the sport’s followers.
Zimbabwe started that five-match series on a good note, upstaging the hosts by five wickets in the first match before succumbing to the hosts in the other four matches.
However, the national cricket team which left the country yesterday has a chance to continue to show a buoyant Bangladesh side that they have turned a corner.
The Tigers, as Bangladesh are affectionately referred to by their fans, are oozing with confidence after a 4-0 whitewash of New Zealand.
History and recent statistics between the two sides weigh heavily in favour of the Tigers as they have dominated series against Zimbabwe over the past few years.
However, boosted by the recovering standards of the game on the domestic scene, Zimbabwe will be aiming to reverse that trend as they look ahead to next year’s World Cup and an eventual return to Test cricket.
Zimbabwe has won only five of their previous 25 matches against the Tigers. Last year the two teams met in three bi-lateral ties with Bangladesh winning all of them.
The most recent were back-to-back 4-1 wins for the Tigers at home (October) and away (August) last year; however Zimbabwe will be brimming with confidence after securing home wins over India, Sri Lanka and Ireland.
Bangladesh will no doubt be looking to their array of spinners in the spin friendly wickets in the subcontinent but Zimbabwe will be hoping to bank on added experience in their batting line-up. This will be coach Allan Butcher’s first assignment with the national team against Bangladesh and a lot of changes have taken place since Zimbabwe last toured that country.
The three specialist spinners Raymond Price, Prosper Utseya and Graeme Cremer in the side will certainly counter Bangladesh’s tactics. In-form all-rounders Ryan Butterworth and Keegan Meth will certainly add a new dimension to the Zimbabwe side which also has the experience in Price and Tatenda Taibu.
Zimbabwe will open their campaign with a clash against the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI on Monday before five One-Day Internationals between December 1 and 12.
Squad: Elton Chigumbura (captain), Tatenda Taibu (wk), Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Chamu Chibhabha, Raymond Price, Ryan Butterworth, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer, Keith Dabengwa, Chris Mpofu, Keegan Meth, Shingi Masakadza, Regis Chakabva