The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Tuesday announced a 16-member squad for the upcoming Pakistan T20I series. There have been a number of changes in the squad, four players have been excluded while four players - Akbar Ali, Yasir Ali Rabbi and Shahidul Islam and Saif Hasan - got their maiden T20I call-up.
"We all know there have been disappointing performances in the World Cup. We have to try some new players if we want to go on a new path. This format is the place to bring changes on a quick note. Hopefully, those we have taken are fully prepared for the international arena. They have been training in HP. We are also optimistic that they will do well," Nannu said
Wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim has been rested, for the first time since 2008, from the T20I series in order to focus on the upcoming two-match test series.
"We have four consecutive tests. Mushfiqur is one of our best and most important cricketers. Senior cricketers like Tamim, Shakib have an injury. There are fears about finding him in the Test series. We want Mushfiqur to give his best. That's why we rested him in the T20 series," Nannu further said.
Soumya Sarkar, Liton Kumar Das and Rubel Hossain have been excluded, said chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu while announcing the squad.
Soumya and Liton both had a frustrating WC campaign. Soumya played four matches in the tournament where he scored only 27 runs at a terrible average of 6.75 with 17 being his highest score. On the other hand, Liton scored 133 runs from the eight matches that he played at an average of 16.62. The poorest thing about him was his strike rate, only 94.32.
Shakib will miss the home series against Pakistan due to a hamstring injury that he incurred while fielding in a match during T20 World Cup. It has been rumoured that he has asked to skip the upcoming New Zealand tour in January as well.
Tamim Iqbal will also miss the Pakistan series due to a thumb injury which means only captain Mahmudullah remains among the more experienced players in the 16-man squad.
U-19 WC winning-captain Akbar Ali got his maiden national team call-up. Akbar has a below-par T20 record in domestic cricket scoring 337 runs in 21 innings at an average of 21.06. His strike rate isn't that great either. The same goes for Saif Hasan who has represented Bangladesh in Test cricket and struggled there already.
Yasir Ali Rabbi, who has been around the national side for more than two years now but is yet to make an international appearance, got his maiden T20 call-up along with pacer Shohidul Islam.
"I believe the team management is confident enough about him. Whenever we discuss, everyone speaks in his favour. I hope this time the opportunity will come and he will have to use the opportunity," the chief selector hoped Raabi will get his chance this time.
Top-order batter, Najmul Hossain Shanto has been called back to the side. BCB has also included the legspinner, Aminul Islam Biplob. Biplob went to Oman as a reserved squad member for the T20 WC but flew back right before the main tournament began.
"We think we need a leg spinner. Let's see if we can start with him or not," Nannu talked about Biplob.
Bangladesh and Pakistan will play their first T20I on November 19 at Dhaka's Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. The second and third Twenty20 Internationals will be held on November 20 and 22.
The two Tests will be in Chattogram ( 26-30 November ) and in Dhaka (4-8 December) respectively.
T20I Squad: Mahmudullah Riyad (C), Mohammad Naim, Saif Hasan, Nasum Ahmed, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Nurul Hasan Sohan, Afif Hossain, Mahedi Hasan, Shohidul Islam, Akbar Ali, Shamim Patwary, Mustafizur Rahman, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Aminul Islam Biplob, Yasir Ali Rabbi.