After months of on/off speculation, Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan finally got the green light last week with a split tour (Jan/ Feb and later in April). A three leg T20 series kicks things off with game one taking place at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, a venue the home team has lost its last three fixtures.
Despite losing eight of their last nine completed T20 matches, Pakistan are still the number-one ranked team in the world, thanks to a superb 29-4 record earned from the proceeding two-and-a-half years.
But unless the ‘Men in Green’ clean sweep this series, that ranking will be handed over to Australia.And considering the players left out of the squad – Mohammad Amir (recently took a six-wicket haul in the BPL), Asif Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail and Wahab Riaz (total of 124 games of T20Is experience), it seems chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq believes if change ahead of the Word Cup is to be made, it has to be now.
With Shakib al Hasan serving his one year ban, Mahmudullah retains the captaincy duties after a solid 1-2 series loss to India back in November. Despite the uncertainties of the batting positions of those above, Mahmudullah surely bats at six, a position he averages 31.33, almost ten runs higher than any other number.