Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal will play the opening Test that starts at the Basin Reserve in Wellington today.
The left-hander had a scan on his injured left thumb in the morning and the report suggested no fracture, which means he is cleared to play. But he still fells pain and the swelling is still there.
“I'm playing. I'm feeling a bit of pain but that's okay,” Tamim told this reporter while he heading for a net session at the Basin Reserve yesterday.
With Tamim playing the batting order appears a done deal for the Tigers with Imrul Kayes, who has also recovered from a knee bruise that he sustained in the third T20I at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, opening the innings with Tamim. Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad, Shakib Al Hasan and Sabbir Rahman will form the tall batting line-up.
Bangladesh will field three pacers on the green top at the windy venue. Taskin and Subhashis Roy are set to make Test debuts. But who from Rubel Hossain, who bowled impressively in the T20Is, to play as the third pace bowler in the team and Kamrul Islam Rabbi will make the cut is something the team management is yet to decide. There is a strong possibility that Rubel will play considering his experience.
Mehedi Hasan Miraz is set to play as the lone spinner apart from Shakib after his magnificent exploits at home that fashioned Bangladesh's historic Test victory against England in Dhaka two months ago. But the conditions here in New Zealand will not be as kind to him as it was in Dhaka.
However, he can still be a good option against a team packed with so many left-handers. Besides, his ability to bowl on a consistent line and length can be very handy in a bowling line-up featuring a very inexperienced pace attack. Bangladesh still can think of an extreme option of fielding a fourth seamer in an attempt to accommodate one more batsman. In that case Soumya Sarker might come in place of Miraz.