Pitch report: Shere Bangla stadium, Dhaka
Ends: Ispahani End, Aqua Paints End
Test History: 15 matches (10 away wins, 2 home wins, 3 draws)
Last 10 tosses: 8 batted first (5 wins, 1 loss, 2 draws), 5 bowled first (2 win, 2 losses, 1 draw)
The stadium, which gets its name from the ‘Tiger of Bengal’ Abul Kashem Fazlul Huq, a renowned Bengal leader and freedom fighter from the 1940s, is the official home of Bangladesh cricket
In a move which stirred up a fair bit of resistance, the BCB shifted its headquarters in 2005 from the Bangabandhu National Stadium, a multi-sports complex in the heart of the city, to the Shere Bangla Stadium, in order to have their own facility exclusively for cricket.
The move would appear to have been validated by the 20 or so simultaneous games of tape-tennis ball cricket matches which take place every morning and every evening on the grassless plot adjacent to the stadium.
The ground boasts probably the best drainage facility on the whole of the sub-continent, with an even slope of 29 inches from wicket to boundary. The stadium was upgraded in 2011, with the football floodlights replaced and the capacity increased to 50,000 ahead of the World Cup.
Last Time Out
Bangladesh achieved a famous first ever Test win over England in a low scoring dog fight dominated by leg-spinner Mehedi Hasan.
A century from Tamim Iqbal looked to have set the hosts up for a big total but only Monimul Haque joined him in posting a decent score and they would be bowled out for 220 as Moeen Ali grabbed five wickets.
England claimed a slender first innings lead when they posted 244 with Joe Root the only batsman to pass fifty for England though a pair of 40s for Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes kept England in the game as Mehedi took 6/82.
Imrul Kayes 78 and handy contributions from Tamim, Mahmudullah Riyaz and Shakib-al-Hasan gave the tigers something to bowl at with the total reaching 296 leaving England chasing 273 to win.
In the end England would crumble to 164 all out and the series would be shared.
Happy Hunting Ground
This is Shakib country, he tops both runscoring and wicket-taking lists at the venue scoring 1144 runs at an average of 44 and taking 49 wickets at 35.12.
Australia have never played a Test here.
Australia skipper Steve Smith is expecting the wicket to take turn early saying: “It’s pretty dry
“I think they had some practice on that wicket a week or so ago, so it’s been used.
“They’ve put some grass clippings down to make it look a bit greener than what it is.
“But it’s pretty dry underneath. I dare say it’ll be pretty slow and take some spin, particularly as the game goes on.”
“Sometimes there’s a part-timer that can come on to try and break a partnership but your two spinners have got to do the bulk of the bowling and get the job done.”
There is a high probability of rain on all five days of the Test which is what you get when you schedule matches in monsoon season.
The high chance of rain is perhaps the only thing standing in the way of a result on a wicket that traditionally favours the batsmen.
The skipper who wins the toss is likely to bat first with the ball likely to start turning square on day four and five.
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