Selectors on Wednesday included leg-spinner Jubair Hossain in Bangladesh’s 14-man squad for one off Test against India following the recommendations of coach Chandika Hathurusinghe and skipper Mushfiqur Rahim. Having not played any competitive match for the last two months, Jubair was unlikely to make the cut but selectors said they were forced to rethink at the insistence of the duo.
‘We included Jubair at the recommendations of coach and captain,’ chief selector Faruk Ahmed told reporters at a press conference at Mirpur while announcing the squad.
‘After all they are the boss on the field and must have some plans with him in their mind.’
Hathurusinghe has always been vocal for the young leg-spinner ever since the leggie was spotted last year in a net session and later impressed during the home series against Zimbabwe.
Selectors ignored coach’s call to include the youngster for the World Cup but picked him for the Pakistan Tests, giving Hathurusinghe an option to use him only for the Sri Lankan himself to ignore the spinner this time.
Jubair was reportedly included in the playing XI of the second Test match against Pakistan but had to be rested for sustaining a ‘freakish’ ankle injury at the night before the game started.
The leg spinner was also ignored by local coaches in the domestic matches that left him having to satisfy with playing just one competitive game, the warm-up match against Pakistan in Fatullah during the last two months, where he picked 1-56 in eight overs.
His lack of competitive cricket means a risk was involved in picking him against India, who, by no means, are callow against slow bowling.
However, Faruk said he needs to be tested with India, one of the finest sides against spin, which can help them judge his talent.
‘Jubair should play in the Test match against India,’ said Faruk. ‘I think this is how we can see how good he is.’
The selectors otherwise kept the faith in the squad that lost to Pakistan 0-1 in the previous series.
Rubel Hossain is the only change from the defeated second Test after he recovered from a side injury and was cleared to bowl last week.
Rubel replaced injured Shahadat Hossain, who has been sidelined for at least six months after injuring his knee during the ill-fated second Test in Dhaka.
Batsman Liton Kumar Das, who was in the Twenty20 international and Test squad against Pakistan but did not play any game, also has been retained.
Faruk said Liton will provide the cover for Mushfiq, who is uncertain to play as a wicketkeeper.
‘Mushfiq’s batting is fine but we are not sure if he can do the wicketkeeping job as he has an injury,” he said.
‘If he cannot play as wicketkeeper, Liton will do the job.’
The only Test match of the series will be held in Fatullah, on the outskirt of capital Dhaka from June 10-14.
India are also scheduled to play three One-Day Internationals during the short tour.
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah, Sakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Somuya Sarkar, Litton Kumar Das, Shuvagata Hom, Abul Hasan, Jubair Hossain, Taijul Islam, Rubel Hossain and Mohammad Shahid.
-With New Age input