DAILY STAR'S ALL TIME TEST XI
The Daily Star Sport, a section of enthusiastic sports followers, took a poll among themselves to select an all time Test XI for Bangladesh on the occasion of the historic 100th Test. It was conducted in a democratic manner and driven by cricketing nuance, supported by an analysis of statistics of players and their contribution relative to the time they represented the team. The 11 players who got the highest number of votes made the cut, but the order of the eleven was based on detailed discussion, focusing on the team combination and playing positions.
The inclusion of Tamim Iqbal as an opener was a no-brainer and quite predictably the Chittagonian got most of the votes. However, it was a close battle between two other left-handers -- Shahriar Nafees and Imrul Kayes – for the second opener's slot, with the former just edging Kayes for the nod. Mohammad Ashraful, despite his low average in Test cricket, proved to be a pretty popular choice for the No. 3 position, thanks to his flashes of brilliance and audacity to take on bowlers of great repute. There was, however, hardly any debate over Habibul Bashar's place as the No. 4 batsman in the all-time XI. The early flag-bearer of Bangladesh cricket remains a popular choice among cricket lovers and journalists to this day.
Mushfiqur Rahim, the current Test skipper and arguably the best batsman of the current squad, was another no-brainer and so was that of Shakib Al Hasan, the best all-rounder in all formats of cricket. Shakib also got majority of votes as regards to the captain to lead the all-time best XI. Khaled Mashud Pilot, the long-serving wicket-keeper batsman beat Rahim to the specialist wicket-keeper's role in No. 7 position. Mehedi Hasan Miraz, despite his relative inexperience at the highest level, beat competition from Shohag Gazi as an off-spinning all-rounder, while Mohammad Rafique, the man who blazed a trail for Bangladeshis in left-arm spin, walked into the XI as a specialist left-armer. The lion-hearted Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was a unanimous choice to spearhead the pace bowling department while young sensation Mustafizur Rahman, having played only three Tests so far, seemingly made a big impression on the journalists' mind like he has on his millions of followers to complete the XI as the only left-arm seamer in the side.