Dhaka: After losing the T20 international series 3-0, Bangladesh on Monday announced their squad for the first Test against Pakistan that will get underway on November 26 in Chattogram. Batter Mahmudul Hasan Joy and fast bowler Rejaur Rahman Raja have earned their maiden call-ups to Bangladesh’s 16-member Test squad. Hasan comes in to bolster the batting as Bangladesh are still waiting for star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to regain full fitness from a hamstring injury suffered during the T20 World Cup last month that kept him out of the three T20Is against Pakistan that the hosts lost 3-0. Taskin Ahmed was not considered as he required stitches on his hand due to an injury sustained in the third T20 against Pakistan.
Experienced opener Tamim Iqbal, who has been eyeing a comeback following multiple injuries, has not made the cut for the opening Test. They will also be without white-ball captain Mahmudullah, who has quit Test cricket.
Mahmudul Hasan, a member of the U-19 World Cup-winning Bangladesh team who hails from Chittogram, was included for his superb batting in the local league. The 21-year-old had struck back-to-back hundreds in the National Cricket League.
“It is still early days for him but Mahmudul has shown good temperament for the longer version,” Chief selector Minhajul Abedin said on Monday. “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,” he said.
With Shakib still doubtful, Bangladesh will depend a lot on skipper Momunul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim and
Abedin said their experience will be a big positive for Bangladesh.
“There is a fair bit of experience if you consider that Mominul (Haque), Mushfiqur (Rahim), Shakib, Taijul (Islam), and Miraz (Mehidy Hasan) are all part of the squad,” he was quoted as saying by the board. “We will obviously have to wait to 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.
“We have options in the spin department as well as in pace. The team for the first Test is made up of cricketers who have been playing together regularly and they know the demands of Test matches.”
The second Test will start in Dhaka on December 4.
Bangladesh Squad vs Pakistan: Mominul Haque (captain), Shadman Islam, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Abu Jayed Chowdhury, Yasir Ali, Mahmudul Hasan, Rejaur Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan (subject to fitness).