Mushfiqur Rahim to miss Twenty20s
Bangladesh will be without their captain Mushfiqur Rahim in the two-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka starting on February 12. Rahim suffered a small fracture on his left little finger, and although he will bat in the Chittagong Test, the decision was taken to rest him as they head into a prolonged season.
"We have decided not to consider him for the T20s after advice from the physio," chief selector Faruque Ahmed said. "We don't want to take any risk in the long run because we have plenty of cricket coming up. But if you ask me whether or not he will bat tomorrow, I would say that we will try through an injection or any other arrangement to give him a temporary relief and make him bat. But we believe that if he gets the rest it will help to ensure his service for the two big events in the future."
Mithun Ali is his replacement as the wicketkeeper but a captain has not yet been named. Mithun had been in Bangladesh's World T20 squad in 2009, making this his second inclusion in the senior team. Sabbir Rahman and Arafat Sunny have earned their first call-ups, while Shakib Al Hasan and Farhad Reza have also returned to the side.
Last year, Farhad took 15 wickets at an average of 35.26 but his batting form has been quite poor, averaging just 12.36 in 20 matches. However, his one-day and first-class form has been quite good in the 2013-14 season, and that has kept him in the squad in place of Ziaur Rahman who hasn't done well in T20s recently.
Sabbir has had an impressive 2013, averaging 41.76 in 25 matches, hitting six half-ceturies at a strike-rate of 133.70. He had been earmarked for a long time as a shorter version specialist and this seems to be the best time to blood him in the Bangladesh team.
Mithun has scored 346 runs in 16 T20 matches and is now considered the next wicketkeeper of the rank. Left-arm spinner Sunny was picked ahead of Enamul Haque jnr who had taken 26 wickets, the highest among spinners last year.
Faruque however said that both Sabbir and Sunny are considered for their good showings in the recent past. "We have given new players chances in this squad, such as Sabbir Rahman and Arafat Sunny, thinking of the upcoming World T20s," he said. "Both have proved their ability in the domestic level. Now we want to see how good they are in the international level."
Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak is out due to a left hamstring injury while Naeem Islam, Soumya Sarkar and Ziaur Rahman have also been ignored.
Squad: Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Shamsur Rahman, Mithun Ali, Mominul Hoque, Shakib Al Hasan, Nasir Hossain, Shabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Sohag Gazi, Arafat Sunny, Farhad Reza, Masrafe Bin Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, Al-Amin Hossain
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here