The preliminary Bangladesh squad for the coming England tour was named a few days ago. Now it is time to choose the test and one day squad.
Some of the places of the test and the one day squad is already set. Hannan Sarkar and Javed Omar will open in the tests. Habibul Bashar, Rajin Saleh and Alok Kapali will come to bat at three, four and five. The bowling line up is also almost fixed - Mashrafee Murtoza, Tapash Baisya and the captain Khaled Mahmud will be the seamers. Hasibul Hussain will open the new ball attack with them in the one day arena. Tushar Imran and Mushfiqur Rahman are also one day specialist players. Khaled Mashud is the number one keeper of Bangladesh to stand behind the stumps in both tests and the one dayers. Anwar Hossain Munir can get his place back in the test and the one day side after his good showing for the Board President's XI against England.
The problem with the test squad is that we have to find a specialist middle order batsman who can bat in the number six position. And we have to find an opener for the one day team.
So far from the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI's practice match against England, we have discovered a young middle order bat Aftab Ahmed, who is one of the candidates to occupy that number six position. Some fans are comparing him to a young Aravinda De Silva and others with Hashan Tillekaratne of Sri Lanka. But many feel that he is too young to play in test cricket now despite scoring 45 runs off 60 odd balls against the same England side that will play in the first test.
Moniruzzaman is another option who is primarily selected in the 20-member list, but he was injured while fielding for the BCB XI side and until now he is not one hundred percent match fit to play for Bangladesh 'A' team.
The name of Al Shahriar is in the mind of a few fans who has a lot of experience and also some good performances in test cricket. But he has not played for a while and also not in the 20-member preliminary list.
Then there is the possibility of the one day specialist player Mushfiqur Rahman to play at number six position in test matches. If the wickets are prepared to suit his type of bowling, then Mushfique might play for Bangladesh, but that sounds unlikely as he could not totally prove himself with the bat against the full-strength England side.
The last choice is to include a second spinner in the side and in the process strengthen our bowling line-up. Mosaddek Hossain and Fahim Muntasir are the two spinners in the preliminary list. Mosaddek was sent to india only recently to get some help with his leg spin bowling. The coach will see his physical fitness first and then consider him to see if he is good or not. There was a report on Daily Star on Fahim Muntasir as he along with Mohammad Selim were not selected to play for either the BCB XI or for the Bangladesh 'A' team against England in the practice matches. With Enamul Haque Junior's creditable performance for the BCB XI team, Enamul is also one spinner for us to think about including in the test side.
But the problem with including a second spinner in the test side will mean that it will somewhat weaken our batting line up. What the selectors can do for now is that they can call up both a second spinner and also a couple of specialist middle order batsman in the test squad, and give the responsibility to the coach and the team management of choosing a player - either a middle order batsman or a bowler for the test side.