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Tigers wary of Test returnees Zimbabwe

Staff Correspondent : The Tigers’ have been away from the Test arena since they last played against England at Old Trafford more than 14 months ago. However, skipper Shakib Al Hasan was confident ahead of their Zimbabwe series next month in the pre-tour press conference at the SBNS on Monday.

Bangladesh 15-men squad will fly for Zimbabwe on July 27 and after a long break from international cricket the Tigers will play a Test and a five-match ODI series in their Zimbabwe tour.

Shakib wanted to take the Test as a challenge, and despite Zimbabwe’s home advantage he thinks his team is still ahead of the hosts.

“It is challenging because we’re playing a Test after a long time. Plus we are playing them in their own condition. I think we are the favourites but I won’t say that we are too far ahead, since we’re playing in their weather and conditions and playing after a quite a big interval, but still, I think we’re the favourites.” said Shakib.

Bangladesh played three two-day practice matches along with against the Academy side, attended a long fitness camp before the tour while their opponent have played a number of games against South Africa A and Australia A.

“They will be prepared so we’ll have to play our best. I am not worried about it and as Stuart said, everyone should be excited and I’m sure they’re interested to do well in the Test.”

Despite the absence of Mashrafe Mortaza and Shahadat Hossain in the pace attack, Shakib was optimistic about the recent pacers.

“I think Rajib was a huge loss. He’s been our best Test bowler for quite a while. But those who are in the team, they’re bowling well. I think they’ve the ability to take wickets.” he added.

Bangladesh’s newly appointed Australian coach Stuart Law said that they would not take the Zimbabwe side lightly.

“I don’t think it’s a pressure to show that we are better. Zimbabwe have had problems off the field but look, they’ll be a tough unit. It’s going to be a tough Test obviously.”

However, he has also set some targets to the Tigers, “They have to find a tempo that suits Test cricket with their batting. If we can find the right tempo, we can post scores that the bowlers can bowl at. I’ve set a challenge for us to bat 120 overs in the first innings. If we can do that, 350+ should be an achievable target.” said the Australian

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