Mustafizur Rahman is among five entrants to Bangladesh’s 15-member ODI squad for the first game against New Zealand in Christchurch on December 26. Fast bowler Rubel Hossain has also returned, while Mehedi Hasan, Tanbir Hayder and Subashis Roy have earned maiden call-ups. Nasir Hossain, Shafiul Islam (hamstring injury), Al-Amin Hossain and Taijul Islam have been left out.
Mustafizur’s last international appearance was at the World T20 in March 2016, before a shoulder injury in July sidelined him from all competitive cricket since. He underwent surgery in August, and was part of Bangladesh’s training squad in Australia earlier this month. Rubel had been dropped during the ODI series against Afghanistan in September due to a lack of fitness. He was included in the training squad as Mohammad Shahid’s replacement.
Tanbir – who is predominantly a batsman but has been picked as a legspinning allrounder – impressed coaches in the training camp in Sydney, while Subashis will be expected to extract pace and bounce from pitches in New Zealand. This is also the first ODI call-up for Mehedi, who made a dream debut during the Test series against England in October, taking 19 wickets in two Tests. Chief selector Minhazul Abedin said that the focus was on keeping the base group intact while pushing players with potential up to the international level.
Mustafizur Rahman has returned to the Bangladesh squad after a shoulder injury had sidelined him since July © AFP
“We have kept the backbone of a settled squad that has been very successful over the last two years,” Minhajul said. “But at the same time, it is also important to get players in who we believe have plenty of potential to perform at the highest level. Tanbir has been a consistent performer in domestic cricket and gives a different dimension to our attack as he is a genuine legspinner. He has also impressed the coaching team during the camp in Australia.
“Subashis hits the deck and can extract bounce and movement off the wicket. He can be quite a handful in the conditions in New Zealand. Mehedi hasn’t played ODIs yet but has all the makings of a very useful limited-overs allrounder. We have reason to believe that he has the ability to serve Bangladesh in all formats and is one for the future.”
The other members of Bangladesh’s preliminary squad that had trained in Sydney – Mominul Haque, Nurul Hasan, Shuvagata Hom, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Taijul, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Ebadat Hossain and Mehedi Maruf – will travel with the team in New Zealand, giving the side the option to pick squads for individual ODIs and T20s.
Bangladesh squad for warm-up match and first ODI
Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Mosaddek Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehedi Hasan, Subashis Roy, Tanbir Hayder.
Source: ESPN Cricinfo