Abdur Razzak recalled to Test squad, Mahmudullah retained
Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, who last played a Test for Bangladesh in August 2011, was named in the 14-man squad for the first Test against New Zealand, which starts on October 9. The only new face in the list was pace bowler Al-Amin Hossain, while there were recalls for Anamul Haque, Marshall Ayub and Naeem Islam too.
Mahmudullah was retained in the squad despite his poor Test form. He is the vice-captain, and will once again bat at No. 8, his regular position in the line-up.
Al-Amin is currently the second highest wicket-taker in the ongoing Dhaka Premier Division with 18 wickets. He had an impressive tour of England for Bangladesh A in August and had been in the selectors' gaze for quite a while, having been a prolific bowler for Khulna Division in the National Cricket League.
"Like any other cricketer, it was my dream to make it to the national team," Al-Amin said. "I am really excited about the opportunity. My next aim is to make it to the playing XI, and take as many wickets as I can."
He could however miss out on a Test debut as both Robiul Islam and Rubel Hossain are in the squad. Robiul is recovering from a hamstring injury, while Rubel had muscle stiffness, but the bowlers are expected to be fit in time. Bangladesh are unlikely to pick three seamers, given that Sohag Gazi and Shakib Al Hasan are automatic picks.
As a result, Razzak's inclusion isn't much of a surprise and is he unlikely to play unless there is an injury. He has been the perennial back-up spinner in the Test squad previously too, despite his bags of first-class wickets. He is considered a limited-overs specialist and has done well in both ODIs and Twenty20s. He, however, had an impressive first-class season in 2012-13, picking 54 wickets for Khulna and South Zone in the two longer-version tournaments.
Naeem returns after a good two Tests against West Indies where he looked like a long-term prospect at No. 4. He scored a century in the first Test, but a careless injury in the Bangladesh Premier League cost him two consecutive tours - Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. Marshall was in the Test squad for Sri Lanka, but didn't get a chance to play there. He continued to score runs domestically, scoring six centuries.
Anamul, who missed the tour to Zimbabwe due to college exams, has replaced Jahurul Islam and will open with Tamim Iqbal. There are going to be a few contenders for the No. 3 and 4 positions, with Naeem, Mominul Haque and Marshall picked to give the team management options for the two places.
Squad for first Test: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt.), Mahmudullah, Anamul Haque, Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Abdur Razzak, Naeem Islam, Sohag Gazi, Rubel Hossain, Mominul Haque, Marshall Ayub, Robiul Islam, Al-Amin Hossain
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here