Bangladesh Test captain Mominul Haque has explained that the 19-member squad for the second Test against Pakistan is due to unavailability of several senior players through injury and retirement rather than any experimentation tactics.
Many players of the Bangladesh side are injured. Tamim Iqbal and Taskin Ahmed being the notable among them. Mahmudullah retired from Test Cricket recently. Naming a 19-member squad became a forced decision due to all these reasons. But a 19-member squad gave fans and media the impression that Bangladesh management was unsure of team combination for Dhaka test after suffering a loss at Chattogram.
It is a forced decision and not any experiment tactics – Mominul Haque
“We are not really experimenting by just bringing in younger players,” Mominul said of having that large a squad. “We replaced Tamim bhai who is injured. [Mohammad] Naim has come in as [a potential] back-up opener for New Zealand [considering the upcoming tour]. Rabbi [Yasir Ali] played the first Test in Shakib bhai‘s place.
Riyad [Mahmudullah] bhai has retired. We have had to take new players. We don’t have a lot of performing players. When the senior players will return, we will have these younger players around in the dressing room. If others are performing in domestic cricket, they will certainly be considered in the team.”
Naim picked up as the back-up opener and is not the first choice player – Mominul
A topic of debate was the inclusion of Mohammed Naim. Naim is a T20 specialist and has poor record in the longer formats. Anamul Haque, has impressive stats at the domestic level as an opener and has been knocking the selectors’ door for some time, was overlooked.
Mominul explained Naim’s selection, who has been a regular in the T20I set-up, has been picked as the back-up opener after Saif Hassan contracted typhoid fever, though he hinted that uncapped Mahmudul Hasan Joy is likely to fill the vacant opener’s spot.
“We don’t have enough openers. Naim is someone who has been playing international cricket regularly,” he said. “He has played T20s recently, which is why he missed a lot of first-class cricket. We wanted an opener who has been playing international cricket. An opener from domestic cricket would have a tough time adjusting in this situation. We also have to consider the New Zealand tour.”
Can Bangladesh level the series?
Bangladesh have been struggling in Tests for some time now, they have won only 2 of their last 13 international matches. Mominul was asked whether the Bangla Tigers can make a comeback in the Dhaka test.
“The most important thing in the Test match is the first hour, regardless of who is batting,” he said. “If we can start well, things will be easier. Our strength is batting, so if we can bat for five or six sessions, we can certainly be in the game. We are going out there to win the Test.”