Teams usually play to their strength at home. Bangladesh are no different, relying on spinners to overpower the opponents at home with spin in Tests. Bangladesh have managed to win quite a few Test matches using this formula at home. The opponents include Test powerhouses like Australia and England.
Amid this success, what goes almost unnoticed is that the fast bowlers are falling out of favours. Very rarely Bangladesh play more than one fast bowler in home Tests. Even if they are picked, they don't have too much work to do other than fielding with the spinners doing bulk of the bowling.
Bangladesh are playing four spinners and a fast bowler in the ongoing Test match against the West Indies. This may look unusual, but this is not the first time it has happened. Bangladesh even have the experience of playing an all-out spin attack.
So, there is nothing to be surprised. The problem is that Abu Jayed Rahi, who has been a consistent performer in Tests since his debut, has been dropped. Instead, Mustafizur Rahman has been included in the squad. However, Mustafiz's sudden inclusion is not surprising. What is very surprising is that a performer in Rahi has been left out of the XI.
It has always been said that Bangladesh's long-term plan is to form a formidable pace bowling attack in order to do well away from home. The presence of five fast bowlers in the squad had also suggested so. But Bangladesh again played to their strength and four fast bowlers had to sit out.
Many cricketers from the past to the present have objected to this very strategy. Many of them reckon that this strategy will, in the long run, harm the fast bowlers and this is absolutely wrong not to give them chances to prove their mettle despite giving them so much hope.