Pakistan will be hoping to put aside their abysmal streak in T20 internationals and rediscover the winning ways when they meet Bangladesh in the first game of the three-match series in Lahore’s Iqbal Stadium on Friday.
The men in green need a whitewash in this series to retain their World. No.1 position in ICC T20I ranking. They lost eight of their ten T20Is last year, and to Bangladesh means Australia will replace them at the top spot.
Watch Pakistan vs Bangladesh 1st T20 Live Streaming on PTV Sports
Result: Pakistan won by five wickets
The series, which was confirmed barely two weeks ago after weeks of uncertainty due to Bangladesh’s reluctance to play a Test series in Pakistan, will provide the teams an opportunity to begin their preparations for this year’s ICC World T20 in Australia.
In a bid to bring much-needed stability to the batting-line, the hosts have recalled experienced duo, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez. Debutant Ahsan Ali and rookie Khushdil Shah will be in the spotlight after being included in the squad following an array of promising performances in the domestic season.
Haris Rauf, who impressed the selectors with his solid show in the ongoing Big Bash League season, will also be inline to make his international debut while fellow all-rounder Amad Butt will also be in contention to earn his maiden cap for the national side.
Mohammad Hasnain, Shaheen Shah Afridi, and Muhammad Musa are the three pacers while Shadab Khan and uncapped Usman Qadir are the two specialist spinners in their line-up.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, have brought back experienced opening batsman Tamim Iqbal to strengthen their batting-line. The 30-year-old left-hander hasn’t played for the country since July last year, having opted to of the series against India in October-November citing family reasons.
Fast bowler Rubel Hossain has also returned to the squad after nearly six following his impressive showing in the recently-concluded Bangladesh Premier League, wherein he bagged 20 wickets in 13 games.
Pakistan hold a sharp edge over their Bangladesh in head-to-head record with a win-loss tally of 8-2 in ten bilateral encounters. The two sides last met in the Super League stage of ICC World T20 2016 in Kolkata, when Pakistan secured a thumping 55-run win.
Babar Azam (Captain), Ahsan Ali, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Rizwan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Amad Butt, Haris Rauf, Mohammad Hafeez, Khushdil Shah, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Usman Qadir, Musa Khan
Mahmudullah (Captain), Moammad Naim, Hasan Mahmud, Al-Amin Hossain, Litton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Rubel Hossain, Najmul Hossain, Aminul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Soumya Sarkar, Shafiul Islam