Mushfiqur Rahim will lead the 14-man squad announced by Bangladesh to take on Australia in the first of the two Test matches on home soil, ESPNcricinfo reports. The selectors have decided to retain their faith in the same squad that had performed well in the rain-affected two-Test series against South Africa.
Though Cricket Australia (CA) have delayed the departure of the Test squad to Bangladesh citing security concerns, the respective cricket boards are confident that the tour will go ahead as scheduled. The outcome of the series is set to be decided based on a series of meetings set to take place on Monday between CA’s security chief Sean Carroll and government and police officials in the Asian country, but the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have announced the squad anyways.
Six of the 14 members are currently in India with the A squad competing with the India A in the three-day match currently underway at Bangalore, but the shocking omission is that of Sabbir Rahman who had scored a brilliant counter-attacking century against India A in the first innings of the ongoing three-day match. Wicketkeeper-batsman Litton Das and Nasir Hossain have been in good knick on the tour to India, with the latter playing an all-round effort in their lone victory so far, the second one-dayer against India A.
The squad has as many as five spin bowling options including Nasir, with Shakib Al Hasan, Jubair Hossain, Mahmudullah and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam all included in the squad, the latter having recovered from jaundice. The Australian team management’s decision to rope in former Indian player Sridharan Sriram as a batting consultant for the tour seems vindicated now.
All eyes though will be on the youngster Mustafizur Rahman who has been a revelation for the hosts so far, having picked up 18 wickets in 6 ODIs and 4 wickets in his only meaningful innings yet in his Test career. The 20-year-old will be supported by Rubel Hossain & Mohammad Shahid in the pace attack.
Should the tour go ahead as scheduled, the first Test will be played from October 9 in Chittagong.
Squad for the first Test: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, Mominul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Nasir Hossain, Jubair Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Shahid.