18 May 2007
Young all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is making his Test debut against India in the first match of the GrameenPhone Test series at Chittagong Divisional Stadium today (Friday).
The young all-rounder has already made his presence felt in ODI arena with his consistent batting and slow left arm spin. He has played only 13 first class matches where he has a good all-round record.
hand Test cap to Shakib Al Hasan © Reuters
Paceman Shahadat Hossain gets the nod over left arm seamer Syed Rasel, who was the highest wicket taker of the ODI series. Bangladesh is playing the match with three slow left arm bowlers; test specialist Enamul Huq Jr. took the place of Abdur Razzak, who is Bangladesh?s highest ranked ODI bowler.
However, Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar was excited about his pace bowling duo and believes they can make the difference even in unfriendly bowling conditions.
"Shahadat can be very effective even in such a batting paradise but what makes me happy is that Mashrafe is in his best form. In his last Test series, he was not in rhythm but fortunately he not only got it back but is bowling at good pace," said Bashar.
Bashar, who is facing constant criticism for his poor form in ODI, expressed his relief to be back in Test fold where he is by far the best batsman of Bangladesh.
"There lies a big challenge for us with the Test series but personally it gave me some sort of relief. I think it gives me an opportunity to, at least, put aside all the question marks over my one-day career for a while. I feel comfortable in Tests but I don?t know why," said Bashar, who has three centuries and 24 fifties in Test cricket.
"India are better at Tests and they will have an edge because of the one-day series win. But when the game starts, both teams start from zero. I think it is important for us to start the match on the right note. That will set the tone. We have got the potential to push India, like we did against Australia" added Bashar.
Bangladesh is struggling to cope with injury problems. The squad was hit by the viral fever and as many as five members have recovered from flu with Tushar Imarn still suffering from the seasonal fever that kept him out of the squad.
India have decided to go with five bowlers that surprisingly left both VVS Laxman and Yuvraj Singh out of the playing XI.
Bangladesh (XI) : Habibul Bashar (captain), Mohammad Ashraful (vice-captain), Javed Omar, Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Rajin Saleh, Khaled Mashud (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Rafique, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Enamul Haque and Shahadat Hossain.
India (from): Rahul Dravid (captain), Wasim Jaffer, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, M Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Zaheer Khan, VRV Singh, Munaf Patel, Rudra Pratap Singh, Anil Kumble, Ramesh Powar and Rajesh Pawar.
Umpires: Daryl Harper (Australia) and Billy Doctrove (West Indies)
TV umpire: Enamul Hoque Moni (Bangladesh)