Shakib's rest is purely for his injury concern as his finger injury that forced him miss some of the matches in this year seemed to be back
Bangladesh are likely to rest the ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and premier pacer Mustafizur Rahman from the squad of the fifth and final Twenty20 International game against New Zealand tomorrow.
Shakib's rest is purely for his injury concern as his finger injury that forced him miss some of the matches in this year seemed to be back. The team management therefore is reluctant to take risk with him with the T20 World Cup approaching fast.
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If Shakib is rested, he would have to wait to be the highest wicket-taker of T20 International cricket, eclipsing Lasith Maling. Shakib needs just two wickets to go past Malinga. The two wickets also would make him the first player to score 12000 runs and 600 wickets simultaneously in International cricket.
Shakib however has been off colour in the series against New Zealand, where he made just 45 runs and claimed four wickets. This was a sharp fall for the player who was adjudged man of the series against Australia in Bangladesh's 4-1 win last month.
Mustafizur Rahman who got wicket particularly to his likings has been in form of his life. He indeed looked unplayable for most of the time in the series against Australia and in the ongoing series against New Zealand, things don't look different. The Kiwis also found him tougher to score. But he could be rested too to give other players a chance to play.
Along with the duo, Mohammad Saifuddin and Nasum Ahmed are likely to be rested as the team management wants to test the bench strength in the fifth game, which is Bangladesh's last International match ahead of the World Cup.
Bangladesh are currently leading the series 3-1. They won the first match by seven wickets and second one by four runs before tasting a 52-run defeat in the third game. However the home side bounced back strongly in the fourth game and won it by six wickets to confirm the first ever bilateral T20 series against New Zealand. It was the third straight series victory in this format, having beaten Zimbabwe and Australia earlier.