Good news for Bangladesh. Opener Tamim Iqbal will play the opening Test that starts at the Basin Reserve in Wellington tomorrow.
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 feels the 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 was heading for a net session at Basin Reserve.
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 of the windy venue of Wellington. Taskin and Subhasis Roy are set to make Test debuts. But will it be Rubel Hossain, who bowled impressively in the T20Is, to play as the third pace bowler in the team or Kamrul Islam Rabbi is something the team management is yet to decide.
There is a strong possibility to play Rubel considering his experience.
Mehedi Hasan Miraz is set to play as the lone spinner apart from Shakib after his magnificent exploit at home that fashioned Bangladesh’s magnificent victory against England in Dhaka two months ago.
But the conditions here in New Zealand would not be as kind for him as they were in Dhaka. But still he can be a good option against a team packed with so many left-handers.
Besides, his ability to bowl at a consistent line and length could be very handy in a bowling line-up packed with 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.