Sri Lanka in Bangladesh 2013-14 January 20, 2014

Shamsur Rahman gets Test call-up

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The Bangladesh selectors picked up Shamsur Rahman and Imrul Kayes as the likely candidates to form the opening pairing with Tamim Iqbal for the first Test against Sri Lanka, which begins on January 27. The batsmen replaced Anamul Haque and Naeem Islam from the previous Test squad that played New Zealand in October.

Shamsur is uncapped in Test cricket but made his ODI debut against New Zealand, scoring 98 in his second game. He has been in the fringes of the senior side for a long time (he was also sent in as a replacement for Shakib-Al-Hasan during Bangladesh's tour to England in 2010). Recently, he smashed 267 in the domestic first-class tournament.

Imrul has played 16 Tests averaging 17.15, but he has returned on the back of a first-class century and his good run for Bangladesh A as well as in the domestic competitions.

Naeem was justifiably dropped as the selectors went with Marshall Ayub at No 3, and decided that they need a back-up for Shamsur in the opening position. Chief selector Faruque Ahmed was happy to pick the two experienced openers whose form has been better than Anamul's in the last six months. Anamul played the last two Bangladesh Tests against New Zealand, aggregating just 50 runs.

"Shamsur Rahman and Imrul Kayes have been picked over Naeem Islam and Anamul Haque because their form over the last six months has certainly been a factor," Faruque said. "The team management will decide who among these two will play. We have kept a back-up opener. Our input will be there if the management wants to know why we picked them both.

"I still feel Bijoy [Anamul Haque] has a lot of potential. He was the best option when the selectors last picked a Test team. But over the last six months, some experienced batsmen have done better. He can play Test matches, but right now, we have picked some in-form batsmen."

Mahmudullah's bowling ability helped him get picked over Naeem, Faruque said. "We considered Mahmudullah's bowling ahead of Naeem as we consider these two and Nasir as similar players," he said.

"Naeem did well in the last ODI series. He is still in our thoughts. We have also thought about three left-handers in the Sri Lankan line-up, giving the captain an extra offspin option with Sohag Gazi, which we think Mahmudullah can do in Test cricket."

Among the bowlers, Al-Amin Hossain, who debuted against New Zealand, was retained. He will accompany Robiul Islam and Rubel Hossain, a pair from whom much is expected having shown glimpses of good form last year. Sohag Gazi and Abdur Razzak will vie for the second spinner's slot beside Shakib, with Gazi being the frontrunner.

Imrul, Al-Amin and Mahmudullah are not automatic contenders for the playing XI on January 27, but all three have shown they can contribute having been in decent batting or bowling form.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • musfiqur.mishu on January 21, 2014, 21:05 GMT

    My best IX is 1.Tamim 2. Shamsur 3. Imrul 4. Mominul 5. Shakib 6. Mushfiqur 7.Nasir 8. Mahmudullah 9. S. Gazi 10.Robiul/al-amin 11. Rubel. I think this is the best IX For the first test imrul because he is lefty and he has scored more run than mashrall and in bcl he comes to bat @ 1st wickets he played very good there. I don't think it will be good to choice Marshall instead of imrul. Mahmudullah has a good bcl with bowl and bat . highest wicket taker of the tournament. he is better than razzak and he can bat + he can bowl too. I prefer rubel as a key bowler and he should pick without any tension and I prefer robioul instead of al-amin but selectors have to think about that i think robioul is good then al-amin. I hope Bangladesh will have a good series with Sri Lanka. I stay in Germany but I am a true cricket lover and true Bangladesh fans.

  • dummy4fb on January 21, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    I think BCB selector has been selected best team ever. All are talent player they selected for each position. Although some of BD supporters expecting Nayeem in best fourteen. Mahmudullah replace for Nayeem. Mahmudullah could be cover two side bowling as well as batting. In my opinion, I was not expecting Razzak, I thought Forhad Rera should in for his recent performance. Sakib could be cover for Razzak. Although selector included Razzak but I don't think you could be BD best 11. I am expecting minimum outcome draw instead of lose first test.

  • Dhali_BD_Fan on January 20, 2014, 19:55 GMT

    Naeem Islam and Mithun Ali are both excellent players. But the only person I see in this sqaud to replace any one of them with is Marshall. I can understand how difficult the selections must be. Looking forward to seeing everyone perform as a team and being competitive. We can win these matches, we need to try. The bowlers need to bring up their game and take 10 wickets!! Angelo is in sub-lime form right now, in all three departments, he is growing to be a good Captain - am impressed!

  • dummy4fb on January 20, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    Justifiably dropped? What has Naeem done though? He would have been a better pick instead of Imrul Kayes. So anyway I see Tamim, Shamsur, Ayub, Mominul, Shakib, Mushfiq, Nasir, Razzak/Mahmudullah (the latter probably though), Gazi, Robiul, Rubel/ Al-amin (most likely the latter although i would have loved to see Nazmul back).

  • mishu01710 on January 20, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Fair selection, but really missing Naeem Islam who has rich FC and Test records as a Bangladeshi batsman. I hope he will get chance from 2nd test. As my view technically Naeem is far better than Mahmudullah and Nasir. Also he is a genuine top order batsman not similar like Mahmudullah and Nasir. It's a request to selectors to keep their eyes on Farhad Reza, Farhad Hossain and Subashis Roy also.

  • dummy4fb on January 20, 2014, 18:29 GMT

    I like the idea of shakil i do think they should include forhad reza. this guy is scoring plenty of runs and taking wickets with his medium pace. BD doesn't have any medium pace alrounder for test and he could be a very good selection for the team. I would let Mahmudullah play at 3 instead of Marshal b/c marshal plays better in the middle order. but overall it's fine. Tamim, Shamsur, Marshal, Mominul, Shakib, Rahim, Nasir, Mahmudullah, Gazi, Rubel, Robiul. I would take Forhad reza instead of rubel or Marshal or Mahmudullah b/c we need a pace alrounder in test who can bat and bowl

  • BDTigerz4ever_786 on January 20, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    Addition of Mahmudullah is pretty logical, i don know why people are complaining about him, he's recently in good form (got 7 wckts in BCL) and his batting will be a bonus boost for lower order as-well..

    And, I drop of Naeem Islam is quite unfortunate as there's no space for him in team (except marshall ayub not imrul as he's an opener) if Marshall ayub fails in 1st test Naeem should be automic pick over Marshall for second test

    INSHALLAH we will win the test series never lose hope trust in ALLAH go tigerz!!!

  • mainul079080 on January 20, 2014, 16:56 GMT

    Really liked the selection of Shamsur and Imrul over Anamul. But Razzaq is out of form and a leg spinner in Noor Hossain could have been given chance. And @Hasan Mahmood Shourav mentioned about Farhad Reza. Yes that could have a great idea and Farhad is in very good form with the bat. And i want to thank Pakistan here to demoralise Srilanka after that unpredictable win. Otherwise i was very afraid of the way Lankans were playing.

  • dummy4fb on January 20, 2014, 16:53 GMT

    Naeem and Reza could have been called.hasib9 choose a balanced team.1. Tamim, 2. Shamsur, 3. Ayub, 4. Mominul, 5. Mushfiq, 6. Shakib 7. Nasir, 8. Mahmudullah 9. Gazi, 10. Robiul, 11. Al-Amin

  • ketaann on January 20, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    where is mortaza? Razzaq is very good choice than enamul haq jnr.

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