Wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das and pacer Shafiul Islam have made their way back to the Bangladesh dressing as the duo were named in the 15-member squad for the one-off Test against host India.
The Tigers are set to fly off to their neighbours today for their first ever bilateral tour of the country since achieving the Test status in 2000.
Liton has been awarded a spot in the squad for his 219-run innings for East Zone in the ongoing Bangladesh Cricket League.
Shafiul, who missed the tour of New Zealand due to injury, has retuned fully recovered. However, sensational left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman has been kept out of the squad due to the bowler not being mentally fit at the moment.
Stumper-batsman Nurul Hasan had to lose his place to make way for Liton, who last played for Bangladesh in November, 2015. Pacer Rubel Hossain lost his place to Shafiul, who was thrown out due to the injury that he suffered in the fourth edition of the Bangladesh Premier League T20.
According to national chief selector Minhajul Abedin Nannu, Liton has been under consideration way before the England series but injury and later, off-form, had kept him away from the reckoning.
“He has recently scored a double century. We thought he will be playing under similar conditions in India for which he got selected. But this does not mean that Nurul has gone out of the pool. We had to exclude Nurul because of the combination,” Minhajul explained.
“There are now doubts over whether Nurul is a better wicket-keeper (compared to Liton). But here, we thought of the batting strength. In case of a situation where Mushfiqur [Rahim] cannot play, Liton will come in as a better option,” he added.
The full recovery of Test captain Mushfiq, opener Imrul Kayes and top-order batsman Mominul Haque has come in as a relief. The trio had picked up injuries in the final leg of the New Zealand tour and were in a race against time to be fit for the India Test.
Mushfiq has recovered well from the injured thumb while Mominul recuperated from a bruised rib. Imrul, who had suffered a Grade One tear on his left thigh, is pain free too.
Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who made his debut against the Kiwis in the longest format, is out. This is understandable as he had come in as a replacement for the injuries in the dressing room.
Mustafiz’s exclusion however, remained technically unexplained. According to the Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, the selection committee had no option to keep him in the squad.
“You cannot do anything about it because he had a major operation and it will take time for him to come back. We are planning to take him for the Sri Lanka tour. It was not serious because we got the medical clearance. It’s a different thing when you are under pressure in the middle to bowl and stick to your skills,” said Hathurusingha.
“We have to see how he feels because medically we cannot find anything, we have to go by his word. Most players when they get injured are a bit reluctant, even if you break a leg once you feel it will take time. Bowling is another skill, we have to give him more time,” he explained.
The selection panel has decided to take a pacer as the 16th member for the two-day warm-up game to be played against India A team starting today.
The solitary Test between the two sides next Thursday in Hyderabad.