Both Pakistan and Bangladesh will be looking to begin their three-match series on a victorious note when they lock horn in Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.
Pakistan, who managed a solitary win in their nine completed T20Is last year, can only retain their top position in ICC T20I Ranking only if they secure a 3-0 win in this series. Their failure to secure a whitewash will see them lose their world no.1 status to Australia.
In a bid to bolster their batting-line, Pakistan have recalled experienced all-rounders Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik, who both are expected to feature in the opening game.
Watch Pakistan vs Bangladesh 1st T20 Live Streaming on PTV Sports
Result: Pakistan won by five wickets
They are also expected to hand T20I international debuts to seam bowling all-rounder Haris Rauf and batsman Ahsan Ali. All-rounder Amad Butt will also been in contention to earn his maiden international cap.
Shaheen Shah Afridi will Mohammad Hasnain, and Rauf are expected to form a three-pronged pace attack. Shadab Khan and Usman Qadir are two specialists spinners in their side.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, suffered a 2-1 loss to India in a three-match home series in October last year. They have brought back flamboyant opener Tamim Iqbal, who had last featured the country in July. The left-hander, along with skipper Mahmudullah, is the only player part of the Bangladesh side that visited Pakistan in April 2008.
The visitors are without wicketkeeper-batsman Mushifqur Rahim, who refused to visit Pakistan citing security concerns. In his absence, Liton Das will take charge behind the stumps.
They have also recalled experienced seamer Rubel Hossain; however, he is unlikely to feature in Friday’s game. Al-Amin Hossain is likely to share pace responsibilities with Mustafizur Rahman.
This will be the 11th T20 international meeting between the two sides, with Pakistan leading head-to-head record with a win-loss tally of 8-2. They last met in the Super 8 stage of ICC World T20 2016, when Pakistan registered a 55-run win.
Ahsan Ali, Babar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hasnain
Mahmudullah (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Afif Hossain, Liton Das (wk), Shafiul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Mohammad Naim, Soumya Sarkar, Mahedi Hasan, Aminul Islam