MIRPUR: Both Bangladesh and Pakistan have a point to prove in the second and final Test, which begins in Mirpur today. With the series all square, there is also everything to play for when the two sides meet. The first Test resulted in a draw, with Pakistan showing plenty of character and Bangladesh plenty of fight after starting off shakily.
There were big scores for Pakistan's Mohammad Hafeez and Bangladesh's Tamim Iqbal, with both batsmen hitting double centuries for their team. The bowlers struggled on a pitch, which was quite flat, and required some meticulous planning. Even when executing those plans, though, they didn't always work and the two sides now have to rethink their approach.
The bad news for the hosts is that Rubel Hossain has been ruled out of the second Test and will most likely be replaced by Abul Hassan. Hossain had an average outing at Pakistan, finishing with figures of 0-82, and it was later discovered that he had a Grade 1 side strain. Hasan has not played a Test for Bangladesh since March 2013, but he recently filled in for Mashrafe Mortaza during the ODI series but went wicketless.
The good news for Pakistan is that Saeed Ajmal is likely to make his return to Test cricket. After returning to cricket following a ban due to his action, Ajmal struggled in the limited-overs format, but he might make a comeback in the final Test.
With the series up for grabs, Pakistan yet to win a game against Bangladesh on this tour and the hosts keen to show they have turned a corner, the third and final Test should be exciting to watch, provided a pitch that can offer a result is prepared this time.
On a flat deck in the first Test, Taijul Islam had an impressive Test with the ball. He took six wickets at an average of 27.49 and an economy rate of 3.49. Bangladesh will need their batsmen to come to the fore if they are to have any hope of winning the test, and from what Islam has shown, he can be really useful.
Bangladesh: Imrul Kayes, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Shahid, Mominul Haque, Jubair Hossain, Litton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Shuvagata Hom, Shahadat Hossain, Taijul Islam.
Pakistan: Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Imran Khan, Babar Azam, Junaid Khan, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Wahab Riaz, Saeed Ajmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez, Sami Aslam, Misbah-ul-Haq, Haris Sohail, Azhar Ali.