AUSTRALIA TOUR OF BANGLADESH, 2017
Mehedi Hasan picked up 19 wickets during Bangladesh’s historic performance in the Test series against England at home. © Getty
Bangladesh look to take the same route that had brought them success against England as they opted to include spinners in their 25-member squad that reached Chittagong on Friday (August 4) for a week-long training session.
The inclusion of young Under-19 offspinner Naeem Hasan and Sanjit Saha in the preparation camp along with few other slow bowlers only indicates the mindset of the team management for the two-match Test series against Australia.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Thursday announced a 25-member squad instead of continuing with the 29-member contingent that began preparations on June 10 focusing majorly on physical fitness.
According to the management, the major skill camp is expected to start in Chittagong where the seven-day period has been divided into three days of match specific training and three days of skill with a rest day in between.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin admitted that the only way of beating Australia is by ensuring that their slow bowlers play a major part in deciding the outcome of the match.
Bangladesh opted to include two comparatively new faces in Naeem Hasan, and Sanjit Saha who is yet to be cleared by the board’s bowling review committee after having been accused of suspect bowling action in the recently concluded Dhaka Premier League.
Alongside them, Bangladesh have also included few other spinners to make sure that they don’t fall short of options in their bid to tackle Australia with their spin variations.
The emergence of young off-spin prodigy Mehedi Hasan and his historic feat that helped Bangladesh earn their maiden win against England to seal commendable draw in the two-match series, seemed to have played on the selectors’ mind as they drew their plan ahead of the home series against the No. 3 ranked Test side.
According to the management, the newly named young players necessarily will not be drafted into the original Test squad straight away unless they deliver something special, but their presence promises to create a healthy competition among the players.
“We know they are comparatively weak against spin, so we wanted to have all our options in place,” Abedin said.
“Spinners did a tremendous job during the series against England and we want them to put up a similar effort but at the same time there spot is up for grabs for slow bowlers,” he added.
It is also learnt that the management is seriously considering if they can include a legspinner to break free from the ploy of playing two traditional left-arm spinners.
While there is Tanvir Haider to fill the gap of a genuine legspinner, there could be an intense battle between Taijul Islam, Saqlain Sojib and Sanjamul Islam.
With the upcoming Australia series assured to take place after the pay dispute ended on Thursday, Steven Smith and his team mates are expected to face a tough time as the hosts prepare to trouble them with spinners in spin friendly conditions
The three-day match that is scheduled to be played at Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium could turn out to be dress rehearsal of the same, as they attempt to earn their maiden win against Australia after getting the chance to play against them after a decade.
ODI skipper Mashrafe Mortaza will not take part in the three-day match but will be training with the boys. On the other hand, Shakib al Hasan and Mehedi Hasan will join the squad later as they are currently in the West Indies, playing for their respective franchises in the Carribean Premier League.
Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shabbir Rahaman, Mahmudullah, Mominul Haque, Mosaddek Hossain Saikat, Nasir Hossain, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Rubel Hossain, Sunzamul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Shubhashis Roy, Litton Kumar Das, Tanbir Hayder, Nazmul Islam Shanto, Naeem Hasan, Shanjit Saha Deep, Saklain Sojib