Selectors for all out attack
Bangladesh name squad for 1st New Zealand TestStaff Correspondent
Selectors have picked three pacers and three spinners in the Bangladesh’s 14-man squad for the first Test against New Zealand, announced on Wednesday, hoping for Bangladesh’s first ever win against a major side at home.
Regular spinners Sakib al Hasan and Sohag Gazi were joined by veteran Abdur Razzak, a one-day international specialist, who was given preference ahead of Enamul Haque Jr, considering his performance in longer version cricket in the past one year.
The spinners, who are always considered as Bangladesh’s main weapon against any opponents from outside the Indian sub-continent, have three pacers in the squad to back them up in the first Test, beginning in Chittagong on October 9.
Rubel Hossain and uncapped Al Amin Hossain, who both are in an outstanding form in the ongoing Dhaka Premier League, were picked alongside Robiul Islam, the revelation on the Zimbabwe tour with 15 wickets in two Tests.
‘You can say this is an attacking squad. Against New Zealand we must not be defensive,’ said Habibul Bashar, the only selector available in the absence of Minhajul Abedin, who preferred to perform Hajj.
Chief selector Akram Khan resigned recently to facilitate his participation in the BCB election, leaving the onus on Bashar, the last and only man to lead Bangladesh to a Test win at home against Zimbabwe in 2005.
Bangladesh will also go into the first Test with a winning spirit, having won their last match against Zimbabwe in April, though the selectors preferred to break the winning combination in changed circumstances.
At least four players have been dropped from the squad that beat Zimbabwe by 143 runs with Jahirul Islam, Sajedul Islam and Ziaur Rahman losing their places along with Mohammad Ashraful, who was not considered for his part in the Bangladesh Premier League match-fixing scandal.
Jahirul lost his place to Anamul, who played one Test in Sri Lanka but missed out on subsequent Zimbabwe tour due to his HSC examination.
‘Jahirul is struggling with his form since the Zimbabwe tour. At the same time we also thought Anamul deserves another chance. He is also not in a very good form.
‘But at least he showed some class on the A team’s England tour when he scored a century. He is also in our future plan, so we decided to give him a chance.’
Overall eight changes were made from the squad that toured Zimbabwe with Enamul Haque Jr, Shafiul Islam, Shahadat Hossain and Shahriar Nafees being the other omissions.
Enamul played in the defeated first Test before losing his place to third seamer Zia in the second Test. Bashar said they preferred Razzak to Enamul as the former has appeared as a better bowler in domestic cricket.
In the middle-order Naeem Islam returned after missing out on the Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe tours while Marshall Ayub, the top-scorer in the National Cricket League for the last two seasons, also returned.
Unsurprisingly, vice-captain Mahmudullah has been retained despite being out of form.
The squad for the second Test, which will be held in Dhaka from October 21-25 in Dhaka, will be announced later.
Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Mahmudullah, Anamul Haque, Tamim Iqbal, Sakib al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Naeem Islam, Sohag Gazi, Rubel Hossain, Mominul Haque, Marshall Ayub, Robiul Islam,
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