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Bangladesh pick Shakib Al Hasan in squad for first Test vs Pakistan, all-rounder’s fitness to be assessed


Shakib Al Hasan returned to the Bangladesh squad for the first of a 2-Test series against Pakistan, starting Friday in Chattogram while opener Tamim Iqbal continues to sit out due to injury concerns. Shakib, who was ruled out midway during Bangladesh’s T20 World Cup campaign with a hamstring injury, missed the 3-match T20I series at home.

Shakib Al Hasan’s fitness will be assessed before the start of the 1st Test, the BCB said.

“We will obviously have to wait and see if Shakib makes it for the first test but the players who are in the squad have been the most consistent performers for us in tests and their presence can make a difference,” chief selector Minhajul Abedin said on Monday.

Experienced opening batsman Tamim Iqbal has opted out of the series due to injury. Bangladesh have also called up uncapped duo Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Rejaur Rahman Raja. The two newcomers made their way into the squad based on their performances in the longer form of the game, according to Abedin.

Batsman Mahmudul, 21, has made a promising start to his first-class career with two hundreds in the National Cricket League while medium-pacer Raja, 22, picked up 33 wickets in 10 first-class matches.

“It is still early days for him but Mahmudul has shown good temperament for the longer version,” Abedin said.

“He is also an in-form batsman. With injury concerns to Taskin (Ahmed) and Shoriful (Islam), we needed to keep our pace bowling options open and Raja got the nod. We have been monitoring his performances in first-class competitions. He is strong and energetic and has a knack for taking wickets.”

Bangladesh squad for the first Test: Mominul Haque (Captain), Shadman Islam, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain, Abu Jayed Rahi, Yasir Ali, Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Rejaur Rahman Raja, Shakib Al Hasan.

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