Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar return as Bangladesh, on Saturday (February 1), announced a 15-member squad for the first of the two-match Test series against Pakistan, set to be played in Rawalpindi from February 7 to 11. Meanwhile, Mehidy Hasan, who has injured his finger, out of form Mustafizur Rahman, Imrul Kayes and Mosaddek Hossain do not find a place in the side. Instead, pacer Rubel Hossain has earned a recall to the Test side.
“Mustafizur was dropped due to poor form. He is not regular member of our Test XI in the recent past for many reasons,” chief selector Minhajul Abedin told Cricbuzz. “We feel that he should spend some good amount of time in the domestic tournament to make sure he gets the bowling fitness that is required to play longer-version cricket. We all know he is a champion bowler but somehow he is unable to meet our expectations and we feel that he is also lacking match fitness to some extent.”
Shadman Islam, who was a part of the side that played against India, has been dropped while Nazmul Hossain Shanto returns. “We have always kept Nazmul under our radar and he is scoring regularly in domestic cricket,” Abedin said. “After Shadman was ruled out of the opening Test due to his wrist injury, we felt that it is the right time to re-introduce Nazmul at international level and I am sure he will make it count this time. He is more matured now with his skill and approach.
“Soumya was included as we don't have many back-up for openers but at the same time he also gives us some flexibility in batting order. He has shown that he can bat well down the order as well.” Bangladesh will play the one-off ODI and the second Test of the series in April. Both the Tests will form a part of ICC's Test Championship.
Bangladesh Squad: Mominul Haque (C), Tamim Iqbal, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das (wk), Taijul Islam, Nayeem Hasan, Ebadat Hossain, Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Soumya Sarkar.