Bangladesh Cricket
12:00 AM, November 06, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:40 AM, November 06, 2016

Can the Hossains come back?

One of the major talking points regarding Bangladesh's preliminary squad for their tour of New Zealand has been the exclusion of certain players who have done quite well for the Tigers in the recent past, with the likes of Nasir Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Al-Amin Hossain topping that list.

While it is understandable that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) wants to increase its pool of players and give a chance to some of the younger performers, the question remains whether that should take place at the cost of performers?

Take for instance the exclusion of Nasir Hossain. A mere glance at his stats will make you ask the question: What more could he have done?

In the last two years, Nasir has been Bangladesh's second best spinner. He scalped 18 wickets in 17 matches at an average of 28.22. Only Shakib Al Hasan has a better bowling average, at 28.03. In terms of economy rate, he fares even better than the slow left-armer. In fact, with an economy rate of 4.41, Nasir fares better than everyone except for Mustafizur Rahman, who has an economy rate of 4.27.

In the recently concluded Dhaka Premier League, Nasir had a batting average above 75. Only Mosaddek Hossain had a higher average than Nasir in that league.

And it is not as though Nasir has performed just at home. Even in the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand last year, Nasir, who had played three games, had the best bowling average and second best economy rate among the players in the team.

He featured in the second and third ODI of the England series as well and put in crucial performances both with the bat and the ball in order to help Bangladesh win the second ODI.

It is understandable when the selectors say that they have got better players to fulfil Nasir's role in the eleven, but when a player performs this well and still fails to land a spot in the team, it can become frustrating. It was therefore not a surprise that Nasir did not want to comment on the issue yesterday.

Rubel Hossain and Al-Amin Hossain, both of whom were regulars in the team in 2015, have also been replaced. While Rubel had done well in Australia and New Zealand in 2015, Al-Amin was actually considered a specialist death bowler in T20Is.

Rubel had played a pivotal role in leading Bangladesh to the quarterfinals of that World Cup, putting in a superb performance against England in the group stage to see Bangladesh through.

Replacing these bowlers with less experienced players such as Shubhahis Roy and Ebadat Hossain could be a gamble. There is also the question of whether it will affect the confidence of these players.

Rubel reamained more hopeful than the others, saying that he was hoping to overcome the situation and stage a comeback to the national team.

However, like Nasir, Al-Amin refused to comment on his situation.

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