Mustafizur Rahman will not be turning out for Bangladesh in the one-off Test against Afghanistan as the left-arm pacer was not included in the 15-member Bangladesh squad announced by the selectors yesterday. Regular Test skipper Shakib Al Hasan and pacer Taskin Ahmed, who missed the last Test series in New Zealand earlier this year due to injuries, returned to the side while Mosaddek Hossain also made a comeback to the Test team after 18 months.
“Mustafizur sustained a slight injury during the conditioning camp and we observed that yesterday [Thursday]. As we have quite a lot of Test matches in the coming days, including the India tour, and the T20 tri-nation series we decided to rest him,” chief selector Minhajul Abedin told reporters yesterday.
The 23-year-old had experienced some discomfort in his ankle and pain in his back during the camp.
Mustafizur, experienced opener Tamim Iqbal, who was granted a leave by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), and pacer Khaled Ahmed were the three previous squad members who were absent from the current one.
With Taskin’s inclusion there are three pacers in the squad, with Abu Jayed and Ebadot Hossain retaining their places after they impressed with the red ball against the Kiwis.
Taskin played his last Test in October 2017 against South Africa. The tall seamer impressed the selectors when he made a comeback to the longer version for BCB XI in Bengaluru earlier this year.
It will be interesting to see whether the new team management, led by head coach Russell Domingo, would continue Bangladesh’s traditional reliance on spin as the 15-member squad have four genuine spinners in Shakib, Taijul Islam, Mehedi Hasan Miraz and Nayeem Hasan.
Bangladesh have fielded four spinners and only one seamer in the last three Tests in Chattogram, where the Tigers clinched a 64-run win over West Indies in November last year.
“Following a discussion with the team management we have formed the squad keeping their planning in mind. It will be decided whether we have a pace dominant side or spin-heavy side only after reaching Chattogram. As things have gone in the past, we have always been a spin-heavy side, but we kept few seamers as well,” he said.
According to Minhajul the inclusion of Mosaddek is to have a back-up batting option in the squad, but the think tank are yet to decide on Shadman Islam’s opening partner in Tamim’s absence.
-With The Daily Star input