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Dhaka Tribune

Why Shuvagata?

Update : 08 May 2015, 06:28 PM

The inclusion of all-rounder Shuvagata Hom in the Bangladesh starting XI for the two-Test series against Pakistan gave birth to lots of questions that are yet to be answered. Many termed the decision to include Shuvagata in the playing XI for the first Test in Khulna as a defensive one and cited that a lack of another genuine spinner might come back and haunt the Tigers. 

The concerns proved to be true as Pakistan racked up a huge total in the first innings. Only a record-breaking 312-run partnership for the opening wicket between Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes saved the hosts’ plight.

A similar scenario prevailed in the deciding Test in Dhaka as Pakistan posted 557/8 declared in their first innings. The majority are questioning his place in the side but head coach Chandika Hathurusingha  defended his disciple, saying Shuvagata is one of Bangladesh’s best off-spinners. Ace all-rounder Shakib al Hasan also batted for his teammate saying, “If [Shuvagata] has a recognised batsman at the other end, he can put together a substantial partnership. Bangladeshi batsmen have scored 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s at No 7 and 8 in the past. Since he is a specialist batsman, he can bat with the tail-enders.”

Faruk Ahmed, chief of the national selection panel, however, said there is no point playing a batsman at number eight.   

“I think we included him as a batsman but recently he is bowling well,” Faruk told the media at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

“It was more a demand of the team management. But, to be honest, there is no point in carrying someone at number eight who cannot be used as a full-time bowler,” the former national captain added.

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