Bangladesh have picked two uncapped players, Mahmudul Hasan and Rejaur Rahman Raja, for the first Test against Pakistan in Chattogram. Pakistan will lock horns with Bangladesh in two Tests, with the opening game starting on Friday, November 26.
Paceman Taskin Ahmed and veteran opener Tamim Iqbal didn't get the nod in the 16-man squad. Ahmed sustained a hand injury in the third T20I against Pakistan, while Iqbal remains unavailable due to multiple injuries.
Mahmudul Hasan's terrific form in the domestic circuit. headlined by two centuries in the ongoing National Cricket League, prompted his selection. Rejaur Rahman Raja, meanwhile, received the nod due to Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam getting sidelined due to injuries. Raja, a right-arm medium-pacer, has 33 wickets in ten First-Class games.
BCB chief selector Minhajul Abedin has heaped praise on Hasan for his temperament with the bat. Meanwhile, he feels Raja has a knack for taking wickets. Abedin told Cricbuzz:
"It is still early days for him, but Mahmudul has showed good temperament for the longer version. He is also an in-form batsman. With injury concerns to Taskin (Ahmed) and Shoriful (Islam), we needed to keep our pace=bowling options open, and Raja got the nod. We have been monitoring his performances in First-Class competitions. He is strong and energetic, and has a knack for taking wickets."
Minhajul Abedin also addressed all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan's selection in the Test squad, hoping he is fit, as he is a key player for Bangladesh.
"There is a fair bit of experience if you consider that Mominul (Haque), Mushfiqur, Shakib, Taijul and Miraz are all part of the squad. We will obviously have to wait and see if Shakib makes it for the first Test, but these players have been the most consistent performers for us in Tests, and their presence can make a difference."
Shakib Al Hasan wasn't part of the three-match T20 series against Pakistan due to a hamstring injury suffered at the World Cup.
The 34-year old has been added to the squad, pending fitness clearance. The hosts will look to bounce back in the longest format following a 3-0 T20I series loss.
Bangladesh's 16-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan:
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Mominul Haque (C), Shadman Islam, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Litton Kumar Das, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Yasir Ali Rabbi, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Rejaur Rahman Raja, Shakib Al Hasan (subject to being declared fit to play).