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The Test Debut Team

 

At last the opening pair, of Opee and Bidyut, returned to the team. Although the team looks very balanced, questions were raised about the exclusion of Habibul Bashar Sumon, one of the most reliable player in the team. Despite his failure in South Africa, Sumon is an outstanding player for the Dhaka pitches. He proved himself time and again with his consistent performance for the national team. Unfortunately, he has a history of being ignored by the selectors every time the country takes on a new tour.

Veteran left arm spinner Enamul Haque Moni was another casualty with all-rounder Mushfiq Babu and opener Seezan being dropped out of the team that toured Africa with the team. Seezan's exclusion was expected as Bangladesh already has three experienced openers in the team. The poor guy did not get to play a single game in the whole tour. Mushfiq failed to impress the selectors while Moni lost out to Rafique. Rafique took 5 wickets and scored a half-century in the four day match in South Africa. Moni managed only a single wicket.

Opee and Bidyut will join Golla for the opening slot. It is not sure if the selectors would play all three, which would certainly be a wiser thing to do. With Sumon out of the team, Rokon looks set to come in at number three. Rokon hit form in the recent tour of South Africa and Kenya but he has the same problem as most of his teammates - inconsistency.

Akram Khan and Bulbul have a strong claim in the middle-order. Akram hit his maiden first-class century in the four-day match against Griqualand last month while Bulbul has failed to live upto expectation in the recent times but you can always count on him to play his best against the Indians. Durjoy is yet to prove himself in the longer version of the game but he might have to come in at number six and rescue the team if the top-order fails.

Both Rafique and Pilot proved themselves as useful bats down the order. Pilot scored a century against MCC early this year and have scored close to 400 runs so far. Rafique has half-centuries in both one-day and first-class matches. Rafique's left arm spin will probably hold the key for Bangladesh with India having a number of left hand batsmen in the team.

Back to the three openers, if the selectors choose to play all three openers as they should, there will be a little change in the above line-up with Golla or Opee coming in somewhere in the middle.

With bowling being our weakest link, it should be interesting to see what line-up the selector's would go with. They might go with Shanto and Bikash/Manju with Sumit filling in as the off-spinner. While Shanto is almost certain to open the attack, Bikash and Manju will the whole week to change the selector's minds.

Rajin Saleh is a mystery to many. Rajin represented the country in the Under-19 world cup and frankly some of his teammates did more then him. Fortunately for Rajin, the selector's have faith in his fielding abilities and the indication is that Rajin will come in as the 12th player (ie. substitute fielder) for the test match.

Bangladesh Team:

Javed Omar Belim Golla, Mehrab Hussain Opee, Shahriar Hussain Bidyut, Al-Shariar Rokon, Aminul Islam Bulbul, Akram Khan, Naimur Rahman Durjoy, Khaled Mashud Pilot, Mohammed Refique, Fahim Muntasir Sumit, Hasibul Hussain Shanto, Bikash Ranjan Das, Manjurul Islam Manju, Rajin Saleh, Habibul Bashar Sumon, Enamul Haq Moni,


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