Saeed Ajmal
Pakistan's Saeed Ajmal will play an important role in their match against Bangladesh in the first ODI.Reuters

A brand new looking Pakistan side led by Azhar Ali, who represented Pakistan about two years ago, are set to start their Bangladesh tour with the first ODI set to take place on Friday at Shere Bangla National Stadium.

Pakistan resembles a fresh side as only five players from the recently concluded World Cup have found a place in the squad. They are surely going to miss the experience and class of Misbah-ul-Haq and Shahid Afridi, who have both retired from the fifty over format. 

Pakistan skipper Ali feels they are a talented and young side. "We have a young and very talented side. The youngsters are very excited," he told reporters in a pre-match press conference.

"In the World Cup, I think our bowling attack was one of best. There is a bit of lack of experience but definitely we are looking forward to the challenge."

Pakistan were knocked out of the World Cup after losing to Australia in the quarters, but their bowlers were the most impressive, especially Wahab Riaz. The team would also be upbeat with the return of their number one spinner, Saeed Ajmal, who missed the World Cup.

But speedster Sohail Khan has been left out of the team due to an injury and Junaid Khan has been included as his replacement.

Their coach Waqar Younis feels that Pakistan is fortunate to see young talent in the country. "I don't think it is difficult. It is always exciting to see some youngsters coming into the team. World Cup always brings changes," quoted the coach as saying.

"Pakistan is fortunate that we got some serious talent in our country. We will probably see in the next couple of days and in the Test matches."

The batting line may lack experience, but there is no doubt about the talent they possess. Batsmen such as Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Ali and Sarfraz Ahmed would be under pressure to perform in the ODI series.

Though, Pakistan may have a very impressive record against Bangladesh, where the men in green have defeated their neighbours in 25 consecutive ODI's, this series could prove to be a huge test for Pakistan.

It would not be unfair if we refer to Bangladesh as favourites for the three ODI series as they are a strong side when it comes to playing at home. Add to it, their record in the last World Cup, where they qualified for the knock out stages after playing some consistent cricket.

Bangladesh have players in their ranks, who have been doing well at the international circuit, especially skipper Shakib Al Hasan alongside Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim. Hence, the match between the two could well be a clash between Pakistan bowlers and Bangladesh batsmen.


Pakistan - Mohammad Hafeez, Azhar Ali(c), Haris Sohail, Saad Nasim, Fawad Alam, Sarfraz Ahmed(w), Asad Shafiq, Wahab Riaz, Junaid Khan, Rahat Ali, Sami Aslam, Mohammad Rizwan, Ehsan Adil

Bangladesh - Tamim Iqbal, Rony Talukdar, Soumya Sarkar, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan(c), Mushfiqur Rahim , Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Abul Hasan, Mominul Haque, Arafat Sunny, Taskin Ahmed


Where to Watch Live

The first ODI between Pakistan and Bangladesh is scheduled for 2:30pm local time (2pm IST, 1:30pm PST, 10:30 am BMT, 4:30am ET) start with live TV coverage in India on Star Sports 1.

Pakistani viewers can watch the game live on PTV Sports and it can be followed online as well on Geo Super.

Bangladesh viewers can watch the match on Gazi TV, while cricket fans in the USA can watch the game live on Willow TV.

People in Europe can watch it live on Super Sport.