Pacer Taskin Ahmed's dream of playing longer-version cricket is set to be realised as the national selectors have decided to draft the right-arm paceman in the team for the second two-day practice match at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong starting from October 16.
“We have decided to include Taskin in the squad for the second practice match as we want to see how his body responds to longer-version cricket. We had initially planned to see him in the fourth round of the National Cricket League but as it's been deferred we changed our plans,” informed chief selector Minhajul Abedin yesterday.
There was never a question about his Test credentials as there has hardly been any doubt about his ability; rather it is a matter of when he will get the green signal from the physio and other concerned people regarding his fitness and strength that has held back his chance of donning the whites?
“We need a bowler like Taskin for our Test team but you all know there was concern with the strength of his body and fitness was a big issue. But he bowled brilliantly after coming back from suspension and looked good. He has no complaints about his fitness, so we have decided to take the first step of brining him into the fold of longer-version cricket,” added Minhajul.
Former national captain Khaled Mahmud, who has been watching the 21-year old paceman very closely as a team manager, echoed that sentiment. “You saw he bowled brilliantly after coming back from suspension and he is real quick. We need such a bowler for longer-version cricket but it's too early to say about his chance in the Test side. We have to see how he take the load in the two-day match. I am not the right person to talk about the issue of his fitness or his body strength but what I can say is that he looks better than before.”
If Taskin passes the first test in the two-day match, will he be considered for the Test series against England? There is no chance for the Chittagong Test but one cannot completely rule out a debut in the Dhaka Test.
Minhajul however said: “We have a Test series in New Zealand, so it would be fantastic for us if he shows positive signs.”
The bowler however was excited with the fact that he was going to wear the whites for the first time. “It's just a two-day match but still I am excited because after three and a half years I am going to wear the white dress -- a dream which I have kept in my heart for long. Now let's see how things go,” Taskin told The Daily Star over phone from Chittagong.
“I am working hard and my body is also responding well. Yes, I have to manage a few things and for that we need to work hard but I know I have to manage those things to fulfill my dream of playing Test cricket. I am happy with the way I bowled in the ODI series after returning from the suspension and I hope things will be better in the coming days.”