Bangladesh v West Indies, 1st Test, Mirpur November 8, 2012

Sohag Gazi, Abul Hasan get maiden Bangladesh call-ups

ESPNcricinfo staff

Offspinner Sohag Gazi and medium-pacer Abul Hasan have been selected in Bangladesh's Test squad for the first time, for the opening match of the home series against West Indies in Mirpur from November 13. Gazi, 21, who has 11 wickets including a hat-trick and a century from the two NCL matches this season, was included to balance the presence of two specialist left-arm spinners while Hasan was picked because of his extra pace.

"We have been looking for a genuine offspinner for a long time, and he's [Gazi] been doing well," Akram Khan, the new chief selector, said. "He bowled well during Barisal's first game. West Indies also have a few left-handers, so we took the offspinner."

Gazi earned his call-up on the back of some impressive performances in domestic as well as representative cricket in the last two years. His 87 first-class wickets have come at an average of 24.12 from 18 matches. He was preferred over Enamul Haque Jr, another left-arm spinner, because of the variety he adds. Enamul also lost out to Elias Sunny for the second left-arm spinner's role behind Shakib Al Hasan.

"Enamul is bowling brilliantly, but there's a lot of competition among the left-arm spinners here," Akram said. "We discussed with Saqlain [Mushtaq] and decided to go with Elias Sunny, because he did well in the last Test, his economy rate too is very good.

Hasan, a 20-year-old fast bowler from Sylhet who has played four T20Is, was included as a pace option on a Mirpur pitch that has offered some help to the fast bowlers in the recent first-class matches.

The concern, however, is regarding the batsmen at the top of the order. Nazimuddin and Junaid Siddique are the two contenders for the second opener's role to partner Tamim Iqbal while Naeem Islam, who has scored two centuries for Rangpur division in the NCL, could take the No. 4 spot. However, with the practice match in Savar being called off, there was still a lack of clarity about selections for some positions.

"We wanted the three-day match to be played because we are concerned about two or three places," Akram said. "We considered reputation, the last two Test series and overall experience to pick the first Test team.

"We have tried to play the same team in ODIs and T20s. We play fewer Tests and we haven't played one in 11 months. I think there are a few places that are up for grabs, and whatever we are looking for, no one has established themselves in those positions."

Squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt & wk), Mahmudullah (vice-capt), Tamim Iqbal, Junaid Siddique, Shahriar Nafees, Shakib Al Hasan, Naeem Islam, Nazimuddin, Nasir Hossain, Elias Sunny, Shahadat Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Abul Hasan, Sohag Gazi.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Jonny on November 11, 2012, 17:16 GMT

    No matter what the state of Bangladesh Cricket is, they'll be around for a very long time so the critics just need to get use to it :P

  • mohammad on November 11, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Leageleagle, then finally you have disclosed your identity.You are a Pakistani but I have always thought you an Indian.How fool I was.I should have understood that.Other Bangladeshis who also know him now come to realization which team should be your favorite other than Bangladesh.Do you think it is Pakistan?

  • Dummy4 on November 11, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    It will be very difficult for Bangladesh team !! Because they are playing test match after 11 month. I thing Bangladesh team can not play well their first innings :( But they will improve form 2nd innings :) Best wishes for Bangladesh Cricket Team.

    I am felling proud that i am Bangladeshi :)

  • Muhammad Rakibul on November 11, 2012, 6:48 GMT

    @ Legaleagle : Yup! Cricket fans ran out of Patience due to tortoise speed progress of Bangladesh. But most of them r lucky enough not to experience early days of PK, NZ etc. Probably they would've run out of patience for decades of poor per4mace No doubt according to MATCH RECORDS, BD's per4mance is worst among Test playing nations. But a nation can't improve in longer version until they had a good First Class competition. Lack of such competition hurts BD. But ur PK improved thru lot of FC tournaments like Province & Department based 4 day tournaments. Also cricket was not most popular sport b4 1997 in BD. So 15 years might not enough to improve a First Class cricket culture in BD as a whole.

  • Minahzur on November 11, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    Also cheers Cricinfo for the preview of the series great articles as well. If you could provide us with some audio/video coverage i.e. interviews, press conferences that would be great cheers!

  • Minahzur on November 11, 2012, 0:26 GMT

    Very surprised Enamul Haque Junior was not selected big mistake from selectors and why Abul Hasan? his performances in this seasons NCL is below par should've picked Nazmul who is one of the few best fast bowlers we have in the locker. Also Nazimuddin why? not in form and bad scores in NCL really hope Junaid and Shariar are picked ahead of him. Shahriar Nafees may get a lot of criticism from Bangladesh fans but he's one of the few experience players we have and has the patience to play in this game.

  • Jonny on November 11, 2012, 0:11 GMT

    I think its worth a gamble giving a slot to the young Sohag Gazi could be arising star for Bangladesh for all we know. Having too many SLA bowlers is not really a good idea and can be predictable for batsman. However then again, Sunny picked up a 7 wicket haul against this team last time out so its a tough decision. No need to play 3 fast bowlers on slow pitches you can get away with it.

  • Joe on November 11, 2012, 0:07 GMT

    Difference between the two sides is Gayle if he stays in then its probably game over if you get him out early then there's a game. But this series actually looks quite interesting considering both teams successes over the past year. Nevertheless looks likely West Indies will just about snatch this 2-0.

  • Babaji on November 10, 2012, 21:49 GMT

    @ M_Rakibul_Isam: Cricket fans have ran out of patience for Bangladesh with its consistent pathetic performance across all formats. With the exceptions of 1 or 2 wins here and there, Bangladesh team has not improved over the past 12 years. Record speaks for itself.

    Any series with Bangladesh is considered as a write off at different levels such as broadcast money, quality of cricket from Bangladesh, and above all any kind of challenge to the touring team. Opposition teams cannot even gain worthwhile ranking points because Bangladesh is always at the bottom of the table.

    I hope Bangladesh can rise as a force to reckon with at least in their own backyard. Again, my (and Pakistan's) heartiest wishes to West Indies to steamroll Bangladesh!! INSHALLAH!!

  • Mamunur on November 10, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    Who is this Abul!!! He has played only 6 FC match & took 8 wickets. How can he get preference over Nazmul & Shafiul? He is only 20. Let him be more experienced playing FC cricket another 2/3 years. I think Nazmul is the best pacer after Mashrafee. Sellectors will have to bring back Nazmul & Enamul 4 the 2nd test, mark it.

  • No featured comments at the moment.