Saif has been picked as Tamim Iqbal's opening partner in the ongoing Test match. Shadman Islam, who got a half-century in his last Test match itself, has been left out surprisingly.
Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo explained the reason behind such a decision in the virtual conference at the end of day two. Shadman is yet to recover from his finger injury. On top of that, he didn't play any competitive match after the Chattogram Test.
He did well in the practice match prior to the West Indies series and got the nod. He performed decently in the first Test. He picked up a finger injury and missed the second one.
Shadman missed the National Cricket League (NCL) as he had tested positive for Covid-19. But he was expected to retain his place in the side given his form.
But Saif Hassan was preferred over him. The right-hander was in good form in the NCL as well as in the series against Ireland Wolves.
"Shadman hasn't played a game since his 50 against the West Indies. He has had a finger issue. Saif did really well in a few games recently. It is nice to have a left-right combination at the top of the order. We have got so many left-handers in our top four," Domingo explained.
"Shadman is very much in the picture. It is good to have a few options available for us. I do feel for him, but he hasn't played a game for maybe two and a half months now, so I think sometime in the middle before a Test would serve him well," he added.
Saif couldn't make the best use of the opportunity as he went back to the pavilion without bothering the scorers in the first innings.