Bangladesh vs. Pakistan 2021: T20I Series Preview

The two sides will face off in three T20Is at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.

Pakistan is touring Bangladesh after more than five years to play 3 T20Is and 2 Tests. The T20I series will start first on Friday, 19th November. If all three matches are played, this will be the first time both these teams will play more than two matches in a T20I series against each other.

Pakistan have not made many changes in their squad, while Bangladesh’s squad has some new faces for this series. Let us take a look at some of the key features of this series.

Venue

All three matches in the T20I series will take place at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka.

While T20 cricket generally involves fast-paced games with more boundaries, this venue has not been very supportive of batsmen. In 10 T20Is in Mirpur this year, the run rate is only 5.78. This is the lowest run-rate for any ground where any ICC full-member country has played and third-lowest overall.

Spinners have been more useful at the pitches of Sher-e-Bangla stadium than pacers. This is reflective in the high portion of overs bowled by the spinners at this venue. Since 2020, more than 55 percent of the total overs in T20Is in Dhaka have been bowled by the spinners. Only two grounds have a higher percentage of spin overs in this period.

Teams winning the toss do not have a higher percentage of wins in T20Is in Dhaka than those losing the toss. Since 2020, teams winning the toss have won half of the 12 T20Is. 7 of these 12 matches have been won by the team batting first.

Head-to-Head

While Pakistan has won 10 of 12 T20Is against Bangladesh, they do not dominate while playing in Bangladesh’s home. Both teams have won two victories each in the four contests in Bangladesh. All four of these matches took place in Dhaka.

The last series between both sides was in January 2020, when Bangladesh toured Pakistan after more than ten years. The home side comfortably won the 3-match series.

Recent Form

Pakistan have won four of their last five bilateral T20I series. Moreover, they were the only side with five wins in the Super 12 stage of the recently concluded T20 World Cup.

Bangladesh won their last three T20I series at home before the T20 World Cup 2021. However, this good form didn’t continue in the World Cup. They couldn’t win a single match in the Super 12 stage and also lost to Scotland in Round 1.

Pakistan

Squad

Pakistan have made only one change in their 18-member T20 World Cup squad (including traveling reserves) for the Bangladesh tour. Iftikhar Ahmed, who was the player of the series and the winning captain in the National T20 Cup 2021, has replaced Mohammad Hafeez, who opted out of the series.

Tackling the Spinners

Most of Pakistan’s batting options score faster against pacers than spinners in the middle overs.

T20 Batting SR in the Middle Overs (7-16) Since 2019

Batsman

vs. Spin

vs. Pace

Khushdil Shah

124

135

Iftikhar Ahmed

100

142

Mohammad Nawaz

102

145

Babar Azam

137

148

Mohammad Rizwan

123

135

Asif Ali

134

147

Fakhar Zaman

134

140

Haider Ali

144

152

Shoaib Malik

125

127

Sarfaraz Ahmed

132

111

Some key players that Pakistan can use to counter spin are Haider Ali, Shoaib Malik, and Sarfaraz Ahmed. Haider has the best strike rate against spin (172) for any local batsman in the Pakistan Super League. In the last two seasons of the PSL, Malik has scored almost 10 runs an over against spin, while Sarfaraz has a 145+ strike rate, averaging above 70.

Experience at the Venue

Some of Pakistan’s players have played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium during the Bangladesh Premier League and have performed well. Hasan Ali, who didn’t perform well in the T20 World Cup, has the best T20 bowling average for any pacer at this venue (min 10 wickets). This series might be a good opportunity for him to get back in form.

Best T20 Bowling Average for Pacers at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (min 10 wickets)

Bowler

Inns

Wkts

Avg

Hasan Ali

6

13

11.4

Nuwan Kulasekara

11

17

12.9

Mohammad Amir

20

34

13.6

Shoaib Malik is the third-highest T20 run-scorer among foreign players at this venue. He has scored 855 runs, including five half-centuries. Mohammad Nawaz has a brilliant batting strike rate of 183 in 4 T20 innings. He has also taken six wickets in Dhaka, conceding 7.5 runs per over.

Testing Bench Strength

This series will be a good opportunity for Pakistan to rest some of their main players and test those not getting enough chances. Pakistan will be playing their 8th series/tournament away from home since August 2020 in Bangladesh. Being one of the teams with the busiest schedules in the last 18 months, Pakistan can rest some of their main players as they also have a tight schedule ahead.

Most International Matches (All Formats) Since Aug 2020

Player

Matches

Mohammad Rizwan

51

Babar Azam

47

Jonny Bairstow

46

Shaheen Shah Afridi 

44

Playing XI

Pakistan have announced a 12-member squad for the first T20I. These 12 include 8 players from Pakistan’s playing 11 in the World Cup. The one player missing from the XI tomorrow will probably be one of the four pacers. Hasan Ali, not being in his best form in the recent tournament, might get replaced by Mohammad Wasim.

  1. Mohammad Rizwan (wk)
  2. Babar Azam (c)
  3. Fakhar Zaman
  4. Haider Ali
  5. Shoaib Malik
  6. Khushdil Shah
  7. Mohammad Nawaz
  8. Mohammad Wasim
  9. Shadab Khan
  10. Haris Rauf
  11. Shaheen Shah Afridi

Bangladesh

Squad

Bangladesh have excluded some of their senior team members from the World Cup squad to give a chance to some youngsters. Shakib al Hasan has not recovered from his injury sustained during the World Cup and is not a part of the squad. Mushfiqur Rahim has been rested while Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, and Rubel Hossain were not retained from the World Cup squad.

Four uncapped players have made it into the squad. These are Akbar Ali, Yasir Ali, Shahidul Islam, and Saif Hasan. Akbar Ali, a wicket-keeper batsman, led Bangladesh to victory in the 2020 ICC U-19 World Cup. Yasir provides another middle-order batting option. With Soumya Sarkar and Liton Das dropped, Saif Hasan would help fill the top-order void, while Shahidul, who has represented Bangladesh previously in Test cricket, is a good pace option.

Aminul Islam and Najmul Hossain Shanto, who made their T20I debut in the same match against Zimbabwe in 2019, are the two other inclusions.