Mustafizur Rahman and Shafiul Islam © Getty Images
Mustafizur Rahman and Shafiul Islam © Getty Images

Bangladesh are already on a losing spree and to add more salt to the wounds, their ace pacer Mustafizur Rahman would be heading home soon. Mustafizur who missed the initial ODIs by twisting his ankle during the practice session has been ruled out for the remainder of the South Africa tour. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Thursday confirmed the same. Replacing him will be Shafiul Islam.

Shafiul left from Dhaka on Thursday night and will be joining the squad on Friday. Bangladesh lost the first ODI by a huge margin of 10 wickets. The second ODI was then lost by 104 runs, courtesy AB de Villiers massacre.

Habibul Bashar, member of selection panel rued the absence of Mustafizur told Cricbuzz, “Naturally losing Mustafiz is a big blow for us. He is one of our key bowlers in the shorter format considering his performance compared to Test cricket and now we have to accept and look forward. I think Shafiul will not be totally new to the situation as he was there with the Test squad earlier. He is an experienced campaigner and was quite remarkable for Khulna Titans in the last edition of BPL.”

Bangladesh’s bowling has been under fire in the series. Mashrafe Mortaza has slammed the bowling unit after the second ODI. Mashrafe himself has gone well over seven and half runs per over along with Taskin Ahmed.

Shafiul would look to come better than Taskin who has been mediocre in the ODIs so far. Considering it is the final ODI and Bangladesh would not want to tinker with the playing unit at the end moment, it is to be seen if Shafiul would play the final ODI on October 22.

However, both the teams will be heading out to play the T20I series from October 26. Shafiul has the opportunity to grab the chance with both hands, “I am not sure whether we can get him in the last ODI as lot of things are related with it like his fitness as well as jet-lag issues but we are confident that we can consider him in the last two T20Is,” added Bashar.