Buoyed by the return of all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan Bangladesh are set to take on Pakistan in the second Test of the two-match series on Saturday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
The hosts lost by eight wickets the first Test of the series, which was also the first Test of Bangladesh in the new cycle of the ICC World Test Championship, in Chattogram.
Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim and Taijul Islam have done well, but their efforts were not enough to avoid a big defeat.
But the Tigers are eager to compose a turnaround in Dhaka when they are going secure the service of Shakib, who missed the first game due to a leg injury.
“It’s great that we are going to get back Shakib,” Mominul Haque, the Test captain of Bangladesh told the media on Friday in the pre-match press conference. “He is the number one all-rounder, and with him in the team, we can play an extra bowler and an extra batter.”
Along with Shakib, Bangladesh also called back Taskin Ahmed to the 20-member squad which has decreased to 19-member after Saif Hassan was diagnosed with typhoid fever.
Taskin was in the T20I series, but he hurt his hand right before the Test series and missed the first match. However, it’s not clear if he is fully fit to take part in Dhaka Test.
“We have to wait until tomorrow morning to make a decision about his participation in the Dhaka Test,” the Bangladesh captain added. “But, I think he will have no problem travelling to New Zealand.”
In a surprise move Bangladesh also called Mohammad Naim for the Dhaka Test though his record in last few years had not been impressive.
“We needed a backup opener, and we thought Naim is the best option as he was playing international cricket for a while now. If we called someone else from the domestic circuit and fielded him in the Test, (it would have been a bad move),” Mominul said.
With Naim, Bangladesh has four uncapped players-- Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Shohidul Islam, Rejaur Rahman Raja. Mominul said he is confident enough about the young guns who can deliver well if they get a chance.
In the first Test, Pakistan’s Shaheen Afridi and Hasan Ali registered a five-for each to trouble the Tigers. In contrast, Bangladesh pacers— Abu Jayed Rahi and Ebadot Hossain-- were mostly stagnant. They only bagged two wickets in the match.
Bangladesh captain believes the Dhaka wicket will be better than Chattogram and will help all to do well.