Bangladesh captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza has been ruled out for around six to eight weeks due to a right thumb injury that he suffered during the third and final Twenty20 international against New Zealand at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.
Mashrafe incurred the injury while bowling his fourth and final over to Corey Anderson. In the second ball of New Zealand's 18th over, the right-arm seamer tried to stop an Anderson drive only to injure the thumb of his right hand.
"Mashrafe had an X-ray done immediately after the match and the report has confirmed a fractured right metacarpal. Recovery is expected to take between four to six weeks and will be followed by a short rehab. The injured area will be put in a caste as he recovers," said Bangladesh physio Dean Conway in a Bangladesh Cricket Board press release yesterday.
There will be plenty of time to recovery for Mashrafe as he is not in the Test squad. Bangladesh will play a two-match Test series against the Kiwis which will be started from January 12. Then Bangladesh will play a lone Test during their maiden bilateral tour to India in February. Bangladesh will return to limited-over cricket during their Sri Lanka series in March this year. So Mashrafe is expected to be fit by that time.
But injury of Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes during the third T20I has become a concern for the Bangladesh think-tank.
Tamim and Imrul are the prominent Bangladesh openers in the longer version of the game. The Tigers are set to lock horns with hosts New Zealand in the two-match Test series from January 12.
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Imrul had hurt his knee after colliding with a digital board near the boundary's edge during an attempted catch AFP
Tamim hurt his left thumb during fielding while Imrul had hurt his knee after colliding with a digital board near the boundary's edge during an attempted catch.
Tamim underwent an X-ray after the match yesterday and the report came as nothing serious.
"The thumb is sore but the X-ray has come clear. We will review his condition after 48 hours," said Conway.
Meanwhile other opener Imrul did not require a scan yesterday but will be assessed after 48 hours.
With the concern raised on Tamim and Imrul, top order batsman Soumya Sarkar is likely to be prepared to take place as an opener in case of need. Soumya, who has come back into runs in the last two Twenty20 matches, has played three Tests for Bangladesh so far since his debut in April 2015. Soumya played as a middle-order batsman in those three matches with the highest score of 37.