Bangladesh Cricket: Nasir Hossain, Shafiul Islam return for first Test
12:20 AM, August 20, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:49 AM, August 20, 2017

Nasir, Shafiul return for first Test

All-rounder Nasir Hossain and pacer Shafiul Islam were recalled as the selectors announced the 14 member Bangladesh squad for the first Test against Australia, starting from August 27 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Although Nasir played the last of his 17 Tests against South Africa two years ago at home, the right-hander staged a comeback to the ODI side during a tri-nation match against New Zealand earlier this year following strong performances in the domestic circuit.

The 25-year-old also struck a fifty in the Tigers' practice match in Chittagong recently, which strengthened his case and brought him back into contention.

Head coach Chandika Hathurusingha said that it was the selectors' decision to include Nasir in the squad and added that the all-rounder was considered a replacement for Mosaddek Hossain, who is suffering from an eye problem.

"It's the selectors call. First of all we think that he [Nasir] can be valuable against Australia if we go a certain way. And another thing is that Mosaddek is not well; he is having an eye problem so we needed a back up. So we need a replacement and that's why he was included," Hathurusingha told media persons during a press conference at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.

On the other hand pacer Shafiul Islam, who last played a Test against England last year, also staged a comeback after his brilliant five-wicket haul in the practice game, where he bowled with pace and impressed the selectors.

However, the selectors did not consider Mahmudullah Riyad and Mominul Haque, neither of whom were part of Bangladesh's historic 100th Test that they won in Sri Lanka.

"Mominul was dropped after considering his overall performance as Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes have been performing well in the position in the batting order that Mominul occupies. Soumya has scored four fifties in his last eight Tests and averages 45.75, so by that measure Mominul's chances were less," chief selector Minhajul Abedin explained.

"And apart from that Imrul has a better record at home although he missed few matches through injury. However we did not rule out Mominul from consideration and he is still our first choice among the pool."

Young Mosaddek Hossain, who missed most of the practice sessions due to an eye problem, has been retained by the selectors after his impressive debut in Sri Lanka in mid-March.

The selectors also picked three pacers -- Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed and Shafiul Islam -- in the squad for the first Test. Rubel Hossain and Subhashish Roy were left out from the previous Test squad.

Liton Das has been included as an understudy to skipper Mushfiqur Rahim behind the stumps.

The selectors also named the BCB XI for the lone practice game against Australia.

The game is scheduled to start at the currently water-logged Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah from August 22.

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