Sabbir Rahman is set to make his Test debut for Bangladesh © Associated Press
Bangladesh have made six changes to their squad for the first Test against England at Chittagong, starting on October 20, with the batsman Sabbir Rahman a notable inclusion following his performances in the ODI series earlier this month.
Rahman, who has played 29 ODIs and 26 T20Is but has yet to make his Test debut, made 49 from 46 in the third ODI at Chittagong, having been fined 20 percent of his match fee for his run-in with England’s stand-in captain, Jos Buttler, in the previous match in Dhaka.
He is one of four uncapped players in the 14-man squad, alongside the former Under-19 captain, Mehedi Hasan, and Kamrul Islam Rabbi – a right-arm seamer – and Nurul Hasan, a wicketkeeper-batsman.
The seamer, Shafiul Islam, and the offspinner, Shuvagata Hom, complete the revamped squad.
Those who have been excluded from Bangladesh’s last Test squad, for the home series against South Africa in July 2015, are Nasir Hossain, Jubair Hossain, Rubel Hossain, while Liton Das, Mohammad Shahid and Mustafizur Rahman are all sidelined through injury.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin said that they considered the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury pitch and England’s batting line-up when picking the specialist bowlers.
“We have taken two pace bowlers taking into account that Chittagong offers a flat pitch,” Minhajul said. “We retained Shuvagata to tackle England’s left-handed batsmen. We also took [Mehedi Hasan] Miraz as a specialist offspinner as we believe he has much to offer since his performance at the U19 level. We have taken [Kamrul Islam] Rabbi because he has done well in first-class tournaments. He has ability to bowl fast with the old ball.”
Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha, who is also part of the revamped selection committee, was excited by inclusions of Sabbir and Nurul.
“We will try to fit in Sabbir in the XI. Having a lot of options is a good headache to have. [Nurul Hasan] Sohan is one of the best wicketkeepers in the country,” he said.
Bangladesh’s Test squad Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Tamim Iqbal (vice-capt), Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan , Mahmudullah, Soumya Sarkar, Taijul Islam, Mehedi Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Nurul Hasan, Shafiul Islam, Shuvagata Hom.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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