The case of the left-outs
There were a number of vital issues that were raised after the Bangladesh Cricket Board announced its 23-member preliminary squad for the India series. It was understood that there would hardly be any change in the final squad, but the long list was a bit confusing regarding the future of certain players who were ignored despite having done well in the domestic circuit.
Off-spinner Shohag Gazi is one of them. Ever since he corrected his action, Shohag scalped 28 wickets in the last National Cricket League, which was the fourth highest in the competition with the top three spots dominated by left-arm spinners. He hasn't done too badly with the bat either, scoring two centuries in the ongoing Bangladesh Cricket League.
In the last three years, Shohag has been Bangladesh's second highest wicket-taker in Tests.
With Bangladesh's Test spinners not in the best of form, there was a possibility of a comeback for the off-spinner. However, selectors believe that the spinner needs more time with his new action.
“Shohag has been doing well. He has batted well too. But we feel that he needs more time to get settled with his new action. He is definitely in our minds and that's the reason why we have kept him in the High Performance [HP] programme which begins next month,” said chief selector Faruque Ahmed.
Al-Amin Hossain is another bowler whose action was reported and he has witnessed a similar fate. In 2014, Al- Amin was the third highest wicket-taker for Bangladesh in ODIs with 17 wickets.
“We don't think he is the same bowler ever since he corrected his action. He hasn't been in good form either. But that doesn't mean that we are ignoring him. We really want him to make a comeback. And that's why we have included him in the HP unit as well,” said Faruque.
Also in the HP unit is Robiul Islam. Once the most sought-after Test pacer for Bangladesh, Robiul's fitness issues continue to linger.
There were also questions regarding Abdur Razzak. Ever since the left-armer was left out of the national side, he took 41 wickets in six matches in the National Cricket League (second highest) and leads the wickets column in the ongoing Bangladesh Cricket League. According to Faruque though, the veteran is losing the battle to the likes of Arafat Sunny and Taijul Islam.
“The squad that we have chosen have the best possible players in it,” he added.
There were also questions regarding Alok Kapali. The batsman hammered two double centuries this year and is currently the leading run-scorer in the Bangladesh Cricket League with an average of 111.
A possible return for the 31-year-old, however, was dismissed by Faruque. “Kapali isn't even in our plan B. He is not fit for international cricket. There are so many other batsmen who are ahead of him,” said Faruque.