The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Monday (November 22) announced a 16-member squad for the first Test of the upcoming Test series against Pakistan.
Mahmudul Hasan Joy, a 21-year old Chittagong Division batter, and the 22-year-old fast bowler Rejaur Rahman Raja have earned their maiden call-ups to the Bangladesh Test squad for the first Test against Pakistan, starting on Friday, November 26, in Chattogram.
Mahmudul and Raja have been added to the Bangladesh squad for the first Test against Pakistan based on their stunning performances in domestic cricket.
Shakib al Hasan, the veteran Bangladesh all-rounder, is also included in the squad, but his participation depends on his fitness for the first Test.
Notably, Mahmudul has made a promising start to his first-class career with two hundreds in the ongoing National Cricket League, which earned him a maiden call-up to the Bangladesh side.
On the other hand, Raja, who has represented the BCB High-Performance Unit and Emerging Team, was awarded for his brilliant bowling performances for Sylhet and Islami Bank East Zone in first-class cricket, wherein the pacer managed 33 wickets in 10 matches with best match figures of 8/82.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin said of the two new faces in the squad: “It is still early days for him but Mahmudul has shown 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 further said that the hosts would be reliant on the likes of the skipper, Mominul Haque, and Mushfiqur Rahim, especially if Shakib fails to achieve match fitness for the first Test against Pakistan.
Abedin signed off by saying, “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.”
Notably, Tamim Iqbal (thumb), Shoriful Islam (back), and Taskin Ahmed have opted out of the two-match Test series against Pakistan due to injury concerns.
Bangladesh squad for the first Test:
Mominul Haque (C), Shadman Islam, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain, Abu Jayed Rahi, Yasir Ali, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Rejaur Rahman Raja, Shakib Al Hasan.
(With AP Inputs)