Hosts Bangladesh have called up uncapped batsman Mahmudul Hasan and pace bowler Rejaur Rahman for first match of the Alesha Holdings two-match Test series against Pakistan, starting on November 26 in Chittagong.
Under-19 World Cup winner Mahmudul, 21, was included in the Test squad after he had a promising start to his first-class career as he smashed couple of back-to-back hundreds in the the last two rounds of the National Cricket League (NCL).
On the other hand, pacer Rejaur, who has represented the BCB High Performance and Emerging Teams, had a decent outing in first-class cricket, where he he has scalped 33 wickets from just 10 matches.
Commenting on the Inclusion of Hasan and Raja, BCB Chairman National Selection Panel Minhajul Abedin said: “It is still early days for him but Mahmudul has showed good temperament for the longer version. 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 added.
Further speaking on the balance of the team, Abedin said: “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. 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. Pakistan are a formidable team but we are confident that Bangladesh will be competitive if we are disciplined and patient.”
On the other hand, Bangladesh ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is also included in the squad but will have his fitness assessed before being considered for the first Test, the BCB said in a statement.
Significantly, Pakistan won the preceding three-match T20 series 3-0.
The second and final Test of the series will be held in Dhaka from Decemebr 4.
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)