Shoriful only new face in Tigers’ squad for Sri Lanka Tests

DHAKA—Left-arm pacer Shoriful Islam made his way into the longer version format as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 15-member squad for the first Test against Sri Lanka today.

The squad was revealed only a day before the first Test, which begins from tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

Bangladesh will play two-match Test series with the second Test, beginning on April 29, but the squad was given only for the first Test for the time being, a BCB official said.

The selectors, led by Minhajul Abedin Nannu, didn’t bring up sweeping changes to the squad that was whitewashed in two-match Test series against a severely depleted West Indies side at home.

From the 18-member squad of the West Indies series, Shakib Al Hasan and Mustafizur Rahman were playing IPL while pacer Hasan Mahmud was sidelined due to the injury. Off-spinner Nayeem Hasan however was replaced by rookie Shoriful Islam as Bangladesh team management believed that the pitch of the Sri Lanka will assist the pacers.

Shoriful, the Under-19 World Cup winning member, has recently made his T20 debut in New Zealand.

The rest of the players who are in the latest squad, played the Test series against West Indies.

“I think pacers will play a big role in this Test series,” Bangladesh Test captain Mominul Haque said in a zoom press conference before the announcement of the squad.

“So if the pacers’ role become crucial, I will keep my faith on the proven performers like Abu Jayed Rah, Ebadot Hossain and Taskin Ahmed. Then we have pacers like Shoriful, Khaled, Shohidul who can make an impact also.”

Mominul’s statement made it clear, Bangladesh will go with three pacers in Abu Jayed, Ebabot and Taskin in the first Test against Sri Lankan tomorrow while Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taijul Islam will take the responsibility of spin department.

The recent batting form of Mehidy however acted as in Bangladesh’s favour to play him as an all-rounder like Shakib Al Hasan.

Though it was believed that Shuvagata Hom, who came back to the preliminary squad after five years, could make his way into the original squad. But the selectors for the time being didn’t consider him.

Squad: Mominul Haque (Captain), Liton Das, Md Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal Khan, Shadman Islam, Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Taijul Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Shoriful Islam.BSS