Unlikely to play three seamers - Streak
The return of Rubel Hossain from injury, and the consistency of Mohammad Shahid have been welcomed by Bangladesh's bowling coach Heath Streak ahead of the upcoming Test against India in Fatullah. However, Streak said it was unlikely that Bangladesh would opt for three seamers at a venue where pace-bowling has largely been ineffective.
"We are unlikely to go with a three-seam attack in this wicket," Streak told ESPNcricinfo. "We are probably looking at two but it is up to the coach and selectors, once they have a better look at the wicket as we get closer to the game.
"Obviously it is nice to have Rubel back in the equation. Normally wickets here are quite tough for the fast bowlers so it requires a lot of patience. I thought Shahid bowled really well in the Pakistan series and showed what he can do. Rubel has been in good form prior to his injury.
"Shahid for us is that dependability. He is the guy you rely on to bowl lots of overs like we saw in the Pakistan Test. He comes in, the captain sets a field and he bowls well to it. He asks the questions. He is not an easy guy for batsmen to get on top of. Hopefully he can be that anchor role for us, with the volume of overs with one or two of the spinners and let the other seamer have an attacking option."
Currently, Rubel has a Test bowling average of 75.90 - the worst among bowlers who have bowled a minimum of 3000 deliveries - and takes a wicket roughly every 116 balls. But his form in ODIs, since his four-wicket haul against England in the World Cup, has helped him keep his place in the Test side.
Shahid showed that he can be relied on to take the workload in Tests. He bowled 60 overs in his first two Tests, which included 41 in the second Test in Dhaka after Shahadat Hossain got injured in the first over of the match.
While Rubel has never played a first-class match in Fatullah, Shahid has taken six wickets in two matches. Bangladesh's other seam option, Abul Hasan, has played one match at this venue taking three wickets.
Whether Bangladesh's pace bowling is in the shape of a Shahid-Rubel alliance or a single-man unit, they would have to defy conditions, history and current form to be effective against India.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84