The Bangladesh cricket team arrived in the country on Thursday evening and will get a feel of local conditions when they take on Zimbabwe XI in a three-day warm-up match starting at the High Performance Centre at Country Club today.
The sub-continental nation is on a month-long tour in which they will play one Test match and five one-dayers, with the lone Test starting on Thursday.
Zimbabwe have decided to rest their senior players with skipper Brendan Taylor, Hamilton Masakadza, Ray Price and Elton Chigumbura out for the warm-up match.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Tatenda Taibu, who has recovered from thumb injury which had kept him in the sidelines since the start of the new season, makes a welcome return to action.
Taibu has not featured for Zimbabwe since the ICC World Cup in India due to the injury which saw him miss the Coca Cola tri-series against South African and Australian A sides and the two-match four-day series against the latter.
In the absence of Price, Prosper Utseya will be the lone spinner in the team which has four seamers in Keegan Meth, Tendai Chatara, Njabulo Ncube and Kyle Jarvis.
Zimbabwe have since readjusted the focus of their bowling attack from spin to seam and the selectors look to have settled on Christopher Mpofu and Brian Vitori who impressed in the two four-day games against Australia A.
However, with one more place in that department still up for grabs, the stakes will be high for the seam bowling quartet in this warm-up match.
In the batting department, stand-in skipper Vusi Sibanda and Tino Mawoyo have again been entrusted with opening the batting with the latter under pressure to finally post a big score.
Mawoyo, who is considered to be one of the most technically adept players in the longer version of the game on the domestic scene , is however yet to make a statement at the top of the order.
Young Regis Chakabva is expected to come in at the crucial number three position with Taibu, Craig Ervine and Forster Mtizwa coming in at number four, five and six respectively.
Zimbabwe Cricket chairman of selectors Alistair Campbell said the return of Taibu was a huge boost for the team and added that the warm-up match would be a good opportunity for him and the other players to get some match practice.
“Taibu’s return to the squad is a huge boost. He is one of the most experienced players in the team and also has a good record against Bangladesh so it’s good to see him come back in the fold.”
Zimbabwe Squad: Vusi Sibanda (capt), Tino Mawoyo, Regis Chakabva, Craig Ervine, Forster Mtizwa, Prosper Utseya, Keegan Meth, Tendai Chatara, Njabulo Ncube, Kyle Jarvis
Bangladesh Squad: Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Tamim Iqbal (vc), Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Nazmul Hossain, Shahriar Nafees, Robiul Islam, Shuvagoto Hom, Nasir Hossain