Al Amin called up, Razzak returns
Natural wicket-taking ability brought uncapped pacer Al Amin Hossain to the national fold, while Abdur Razzak was recalled after a long break as the selectors considered his recent development as a longer-version bowler when announcing the 14-member final squad yesterday for the first Test against New Zealand that begins in Chittagong on October 9.
Naeem Islam, Anamul Haque and Marshall Ayub were also recalled while Enamul Haque, Jahurul Islam, Sajedul Islam, Shafiul Islam, Shahadat Hossain, Shahriar Nafees, Ziaur Rahman and the banned Mohammad Ashraful were the omissions from the side that played the last Test series in Zimbabwe.
“He (Al Amin) is the kind of bowler who can take wickets and we need this kind of pace bowler for our Test team. He has had consistent performances in recent times and we believe that he is a future prospect for our struggling pace department,” said selector Habibul Bashar -- the only one standing of the three-man panel -- on the only fresh inclusion in the squad.
The 23-year old paceman from Jhenidah, Al-Amin Hossain was excited about the call-up but he was looking forward to grab a place in the playing eleven. “A dream came true for me and I think it's a result of my hard work. Now I am looking forward to playing the first Test match in Chittagong. The main challenge however lies with how long I can keep my place in the team by putting in good performances,” said the lanky paceman.
“One can raise questions about the exclusion of Ziaur Rahman as he played a big role in our last Test victory against Zimbabwe by taking four wickets in the second innings but we think these conditions will hardly suit his bowling and as a batting all-rounder he could not impress us at all,” added Bashar.
Since his Test debut in 2006, Razzak has played only nine Tests as he acquired the tag of a limited-overs specialist for his ability to contain the batsman. His last Test appearance was against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2011, so it was interesting to see the left-armer's return to the Test side.
“If you look at his (Razzak) performance in the domestic longer-version competitions, he has been quite successful. We observed that he made changes to his bowling; he is now giving the ball more loop and getting more turn. Considering everything, we picked him over Enam (Enamul Haque),” explained Bashar.
Another name may invite interest. Vice-captain Mahmudullah Riyad was dropped from the Tigers' last Test in Zimbabwe after some meagre returns, but the batsman finds his name right below that of the skipper in this squad. “Riyad has been showing good form recently, and I am sure he will face no problems in the series,” Bashar said.
On the other hand he said that Naeem, Marshall and Anamul deserved their places for their reasonable performances.
“Jahurul is actually out of form but he can get back his place any time by putting in good performances,” said Bashar.
BANGLADESH SQUAD FOR FIRST TEST
Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Mahmudullah Riyad (vice captain), Anamul Haque, Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Naeem Islam, Sohag Gazi, Rubel Hossain, Mominul Hoque, Marshall Ayub, Robiul Islam and Al Amin Hossain