RAWALPINDI: Skipper Azhar Ali and his charges won’t take visiting Bangladesh lightly when the two sides clash in the first Test starting at Pindi Stadium here on Friday (today). Pakistan come into the match on the back of a mammoth 263-run win over Sri Lanka in their last Test in December, while Bangladesh have lost the last five Tests they have played. Solely on the balance of that, the odds are in favour of the home side. But there is more than just the weight of recency that Bangladesh will have to counter. They are without their two most experienced and important players in Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib al Hasan, and with a bowling lineup that does not really shine itself in glory when it comes to performing consistently.Azhar said on Thursday his team were not going to take Bangladesh lightly. “Bangladesh can be a very competitive side, can surprise you, so we are not taking them lightly. They have match winners in their team,” he added. Azhar went on to say that he felt his side had the opportunity to win Test matches on the home ground. “We will try our best,” he maintained. Pakistan have not won a Test in Rawalpindi for 23 years, having lost three of the last four to Australia (1998), Sri Lanka (2000) and India (2004). The last Test match between Bangladesh and Pakistan in Pakistan took place more than 16 years ago and it was a heart-breaker for Bangladesh. Inzamam-ul-Haq maneuvered the home side to a one-wicket win in Multan. Speaking of the inclusion of fast bowlers in the composition, Azhar said that home matches were played according to one’s strength”. “At the moment we feel that our fast bowling is a threat for our opposition,” he said. Azhar stated that he was impressed with progress shown by Pakistan’s rookie fast-bowling attack. “We have a new pace bowling attack but the way they have improved is a great sign. I said that we need to give the new attack some time but the way they have taken up the responsibility is heartening. We will back them, they are the bowlers we have and it’s an excellent attack. We will rely on them to win us matches,” said Azhar.Pakistan have plenty of options in their bowling line-up after they included offspinner Bilal Asif and allrounder Faheem Ashraf but they probably won’t be tempted to change a winning combination. The Pakistan skipper hinted that Pakistan will field the same lineup, which played in their last Test match against Sri Lanka in Karachi, making it all but certain that left-handed batsman Fawad Alam will once again warm the bench. “We want to try to use mostly the same combination of the last Test but we will try to adapt to the conditions of Rawalpindi,” he said. “Fawad is in the squad on the basis of his performances and ability. All members in the squad can be in the playing XI at any time. Whenever he plays, I think he will perform. Not only Fawad, but everyone is the same and they’re looking to perform when given a chance.” Bangladesh were originally scheduled to play three Twenty20 Internationals and two Test matches, but agreed to split the tour into three phases because it did not want to stay in Pakistan for a longer duration due to security concerns. The side will return to Pakistan in April for a one-off One-day International and the second and final Test at the National Stadium in Karachi. Pakistan won the T20I series 2-0 last month at Lahore, with the third game abandoned because of rain. Bangladesh lost 3-0 to Pakistan in its last Test series in 2003, which included the home teams nail biting one-wicket victory at Multan. Leading Bangladesh player Mushfiqur, who didn’t travel to Pakistan for last month’s Twenty20 series, has also opted out of the Test match at Rawalpindi. Bangladesh are the second Test country to tour Pakistan since the resumption of international cricket. In December, Sri Lanka toured the country for 16 days and played Test matches at Rawalpindi and Karachi. It was the first Test series in Pakistan in more than a decade after a 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team bus at Lahore killed eight people killed and injured several players.On the other hand, Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque is keen on playing good cricket in Pakistan. “We want to play good cricket here because our record overseas has not been good,” said Haque. “It’s going to be difficult without Mushfiqur because he has been one our best players but it also presents some of the new players an opportunity to prove their worth.” The 28-year-old also brushed aside any concerns about security during their stay in Pakistan. “We are satisfied with the security arrangements and the hospitality we have received in Pakistan,” he said. Squads:Pakistan (likely): Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah and Shaheen AfridiBangladesh (likely): Tamim Iqbal, Saif Hassan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque (capt), Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Liton Das, Taijul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Abu Jayed and Ebadot Hossain.