Bangladesh will take the field for the second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch starting on Friday without captain Mushfiqur Rahim and opening batsman Imrul Kayes, both of whom will miss the last match of the tour because of injury.
Bangladesh vice-captain and the man who will lead the Tigers in the second Test, Tamim Iqbal, revealed the information during a press conference currently taking place at the Hagley Oval in Chirstchurch. That means that reserve wicketkeeper Nurul Hasan is set to make his Test debut and batsman Soumya Sarkar is in line to play his fourth Test in place of Imrul. However, both Imrul and Mushfiqur, according to Tamim, is expected to be fit for the one-off Test against India in Hyderabad starting on February 13.
On Wednesday, Mushfiqur had strolled out with coach Chandika Hathurusingha to look at the pitch at the Hagley Oval, but today it was Tamim and the coach who did the reccie of the pitch, giving an early indication that the captain was not playing the second match.
This will mark the first time that Mushfiqur is missing a Test since the June 2007 Test against Sri Lanka in Colombo, after which he has played 49 consecutive Tests for Bangladesh.
Mushfiqur picked up a hairline fracture on his right thumb while scoring 159 in the first innings of the first Test in Wellington before being laid low with a mild concussion after a bouncer struck him in the back of the neck in the second innings. It is the thumb injury, however, that has led to the captain being ruled out of the second Test.
Imrul kept wickets for nearly 150 overs in New Zealand’s first innings in place of Mushfiqur, and had to be stretchered off because of a thigh injury sustained while completing a run in Bangladesh’s second innings. An ultrasound scan on Tuesday revealed that he had a small tear in his left thigh muscle and that the team management and medical staff would observe him for 48 hours before making a call on his availability for the second Test.
Bangladesh lost the first Test of the two-match series from January 12 to 16 by seven wickets and in the process bagged the unwanted record of scoring the highest first innings total (595 for eight declared) in a losing cause.