Bangladesh v Zimbabwe
Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur, Dhaka
Sunday 21 October, 14:30 PM local time, 09:30 AM BST
Zimbabwe have been whitewashed 3-0 and 5-0 on their last two visits to Bangladesh and their recent form – eight straight defeats since the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier in March – highlights the size of the task ahead of them in this three-match series.
The onus is on Hamilton Masakadza, who replaced Graeme Cremer after the team's failure to qualify for the World Cup, to rally his troops and improve on his own poor run of form which has seen him score a solitary half-century in his last 12 ODI knocks. He will be buoyed by a century in the warm-up fixture against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI, although there was little else for his side to cheer as they fell to an eight-wicket defeat.
Sikandar Raza, Zimbabwe's star all-rounder, is a welcome addition to the squad after sorting out his contractual issues with the board.
The absence of two star names from the Bangladesh team should offer the tourists some encouragement. Shakib Al Hasan's persistent finger injury has ruled him out of action for three months while Tamim Iqbal is yet to recover from the fractured knuckle he sustained in the Asia Cup.
Even without the duo, Bangladesh remain a formidable prospect on home soil, losing just one of their last six bilateral ODI series, against England in 2016.
Fast bowler Rubel Hossain is a doubt as he recovers from a fever.
Liton Das (Bangladesh): After a chastening start to his ODI career, Das showed why the Bangladesh selectors have such high hopes for him by hitting a sensational 121 against India in the Asia Cup final in September. The search for a suitable opening partner for Tamim Iqbal has been a long one – in Das they may have finally found their man. He has continued his good form since that hundred, beating his own record for the fastest double-century in Bangladesh's first-class history, off 140 deliveries.
Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe): No player has scored more ODI runs against Bangladesh than Zimbabwe's former skipper and he will need to come to the party if his team are going to put enough runs on the board to trouble their hosts. Taylor had a quiet recent series against South Africa but the 32-year-old's brilliant knock of 138 against the Windies in the World Cup Qualifier in March – his 10th ODI century – proved he remains Zimbabwe's classiest operator.
Typically the Sher-e-Bangla pitch offers slow turn, although Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza said he does not expect it to spin from ball one. A warm evening is expected in Dhaka.
Bangladesh: Liton Das, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Fazle Mahmud, Mehidy Hasan, Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Hider, Ariful Haque, Mohammad Saifuddin, Nazmul Islam
Zimbabwe: Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor (wk), Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Elton Chigumbura, Wellington Masakadza, Brandon Mavuta, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Peter Moor, Tarisai Musakanda, Richard Ngarava, John Nyumbu, Donald Tiripano, Cephas Zhuwao