Tamim Iqbal missed the India tour and will play a Test match for the first time since March, if selected in the playing XI
Opener Tamim Iqbal made a return to the Bangladesh Test fold while another opening batsman Imrul Kayes and pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman were dropped as the 14-man squad for the Rawalpindi Test match was announced Saturday.
Tamim, who went for a sabbatical after the Sri Lanka tour following a disappointing World Cup last year in England and Wales, made his international return in the two T20Is during their first phase of the Pakistan tour.
The southpaw missed the India tour and will play a Test for the first time since March, if selected in the playing XI.
Tamim’s presence will provide some much needed boost for Bangladesh as the side will miss the services of their two key senior players - Shakib al Hasan, who is banned for a year, and Mushfiqur Rahim, who has withdrawn himself from the Pakistan tour for personal reasons.
There are no practice matches scheduled for the Tigers before the first of two Test matches away to @TheRealPCB, scheduled to get underway next Friday in Rawalpindi.https://t.co/tQBOZcPtqN#BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS #BANGLADESH #CRICKET #BANGLADESHCRICKET #PAKISTANCRICKET #PCB— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) January 30, 2020
However, the Tigers have been jolted with injuries that kept Imrul, opener Shadman Islam, and all-rounders Mahedi Hasan and Mosaddek Hossain out of the squad.
Imrul has been suffering from hamstring injury; Mosaddek is out due to shoulder injury while Mehedi is recovering from a finger injury.
Opener Nazmul Hossain Shanto, pacer Rubel Hossain, and batsman Soumya Sarkar have been recalled to the side.
“We have some injury issues, so we had to make some changes in the squad,” said chief selector Minhajul Abedin.
However, the chief selector thinks Nazmul is in great form and Rubel has qualities and experience to do well in the top flight.
Mustafizur on the other hand has not been up to the mark with the red cherry despite being considered as one of the finest bowlers in limited-over cricket for Bangladesh.
He has played just 13 Tests since his debut back in 2015 and was not picked in the Tests during the Tigers’ India tour at the latter part of the bygone year.
It is understood that the selectors are safeguarding him for limited-over cricket and would like to hone his skills with the red ball in the local four-day tournaments.
Bangladesh team will fly for Rawalpindi Tuesday.
Squad: Mominul Haque (Captain), Tamim Iqbal, Saif Hasan, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Liton Kumar Das, Taijul Islam, Nayeem Hasan, Ebadat Hossain, Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Al-Amin Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Soumya Sarker