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Rabbi picked for versatility

  • Published at 03:43 pm October 13th, 2018
Fazle Mahmud Rabbi

Fazle Rabbi, who is also known as Fazle Mahmud, was the only new face in the 15-man squad for the Zimbabwe ODI series at home that will commence next Sunday

Uncapped Fazle Rabbi has been picked for the upcoming ODI series due to his versatile ability of batting in the middle-order, and effectiveness as a spinner in the middle part of the innings. 

Rabbi, who is also known as Fazle Mahmud, was the only new face in the 15-man squad for the Zimbabwe ODI series at home that will commence next Sunday. The left-arm all-rounder was the surprise inclusion in the Tigers squad ahead of the likes of some prominent players like Soumya Sarkar and Mosaddek Hossain.  

But selector Habibul Bashar thought the player deserves a chance in the national fold as he is constantly doing well in the domestic circuit, and maintained a high level of fitness despite being 30. 

“Rabbi had an interesting start to his career. He was in the High Performance (HP) squad. He was a promising cricketer. Then unfortunately he went off-form. But later he came back to form and performed well in the domestic circuit. Last three years he has improved his game and played well in the ‘A’ team’s tours,” said Bashar to the media at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Saturday. 

“He is 30 years of age but he is a very fit cricketer. We need a player in the absence of Shakib [al Hasan] who can bat, and also bowl. His bowling is effective. That’s why he has been chosen. His batting has been changed. He was batting aggressively in the early part of his career. But recently he has started batting according to the situation of the game.

“He can also rotate strike, and obviously play big shots. He is a much more matured batsman now. He is also a good spinner, plus he is a good fielder as well. So he is a kind of a package for us. Hopefully he will perform well as he is a more matured cricketer now.” 

Bangladesh are missing opener Tamim Iqbal and No 3 batsman and all-rounder Shakib due to injury. The Tigers have Liton Kumar Das, Nazmul Hossian Shanto and Imrul Kayes as openers in the squad.  

So the question was asked if Rabbi is picked in the playing XI, what will be his batting position. Bashar thought as a versatile batsman Rabbi has the ability to bat anywhere in the batting order as he batted in different positions in different stages of his career.   

“He started his career as an opener. Later he batted in No 3. And now he is batting in 5-6 in the ‘A’ team but he can be a good option in No 3 position. So he can bat anywhere from No 3 to 6.  Basically he will play in the middle-order as per the requirement of team,” Bashar said.  

Rabbi started his first-class and List A career in 2004 and since then, he has played 80 List A matches till date and scored 2200 runs with an average of 30.98. He also took 27 wickets as a slow left-arm orthodox bowler. Last season he played for Prime Doleshwar Sporting Club in the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, and scored 708 runs in 16 matches.

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