The BCB is set to announce the Bangladesh squad for the Nidahas Series 2018 T20I Monday. The series also involves India and host Sri Lanka and the opening game is scheduled to be held in Colombo on March 6. Bangladesh are unlikely to make major changes in the squad that took part in the two-match T20I home series against Sri Lanka earlier this month.
Bangladesh T20I captain Shakib al Hasan is ready to get back in action for the Tigers after missing the two-match Test and T20I series’ against the Lankans at home.
The ace left-arm all-rounder was ruled out from the Test and T20I series’ after picking up a finger injury during the final of the tri-nation ODI series against Sri Lanka in Dhaka last month.
Shakib was later named in the T20I squad only to be removed the following day after medical examination revealed slow recovery of his injury. With Shakib unavailable, the BCB included uncapped all-rounder Afif Hossain and left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Apu for the Sri Lanka T20Is.
Afif failed to impress in his first appearance but Nazmul made his mark, producing crucial contributions with the ball. Nazmul is set to keep his berth in the dressing room.
Four others had made their debut in the series in the shape of all-rounder Ariful Haque, seamer Abu Jayed, spinner Mehedi Hasan and wicketkeeper-batsman Zakir Hasan. Ariful and Jayed are also unlikely to be axed.
However, Saifuddin, who was severely criticised for his below-par performance, is likely to sit out the series and make way for right-arm pacer Taskin Ahmed. Taskin was dropped from all three formats earlier this year, following his mediocre performance in the Champions Trophy 2017 and Bangladesh’s tour of South Africa.
On the other hand, rumour of veteran pacer Mashrafe bin Mortaza returning to T20Is from retirement will ultimately prove to be baseless. The BCB president Nazmul Hasan following Bangladesh’s disastrous performance in the T20I series earlier this month informed that the board requested Mashrafe to reconsider his decision and come back to the format. It is understood that Mashrafe is unlikely to change his mind.
The experienced pacer made a surprise retirement from the shortest format during their tour of Sri Lanka last year. Mashrafe had come to the decision following reported occurrences in the dressing room involving the then Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha.