ZIMBABWE TOUR OF BANGLADESH 2018
Cricbuzz Staff •
In the absence of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim will have to take a bulk of the batting load © Getty
Mushfiqur Rahim, who was undergoing rehabilitation for his hip injury, has recovered in time and been named in Bangladesh’s 15-member squad for the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe at home. Fazle Mahmud Rabbi, the uncapped 30-year-old batting all-rounder, was the only surprise inclusion in the side announced on Thursday (October 11).
Pace bowling all-rounder Saifuddin makes a return to the side for the series that is scheduled to begin with a day-night affair at Dhaka on October 21, followed with the remaining two matches in Chittagong, on October 24 and 26 respectively.
The veteran duo of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal were ruled out due to their respective injuries while there was no place for Mominul Haque, Mosaddek Hossain and Soumya Sarkar, who were part of the Bangladesh squad in the recently-concluded Asia Cup campaign.
“We have included Rabbi as a replacement for Shakib Al Hasan because he can bat and also bowl left-arm spin,” Minhajul Abedin, Bangladesh’s chief selector, told Cricbuzz. “He is performed consistently in the domestic circuit and also played well in the Ireland tour with Bangladesh A recently,” he said.
Minhajul added that Saifuddin was recalled as he had impressed the coach in the national nets recently and as there is a scarcity of a pace bowling all-rounder, they are pinning their hopes on the youngster.
“It is true that he did not manage to impress at the international stage but I’m confident he has left those memories behind,” said Minhajul. “Our head coach was impressed with him and since we need a pace bowling all-rounder, why not give him a try as we are still looking for someone who can bat down the order as well as bowl with good pace.”
Bangladesh have also decided to carry an untested Ariful Haque as he is also someone who can bat and bowl a few overs of medium pace.
Minhajul said that the door is still not closed for Sarkar, Mominul or Mossadek, but they preferred Imrul due to his experience.
“We opted for Imrul as there is no Tamim around and we need to have some experience at the top,” said Minhajul.
Squad: Masrafe Mortaza (C), Liton Das, Imrul Kayes, Nazmul Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Mithun, Mahmudullah, Ariful Haque, Mehidy Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Abu Haider, Saifuddin, Fazle Rabbi