Sarkar out of Zimbabwe ODIs, T20s with side strain
Bangladesh batsman Soumya Sarkar has been ruled out of the three ODIs and two T20s against Zimbabwe with a strain on his left side. He has been replaced by Imrul Kayes for the first two ODIs after Sarkar's MRI report on Thursday confirmed that he would be out for around two weeks.
During Tuesday's training session at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Sarkar overstretched his left side during a bowling stint in the nets. He immediately withdrew from training and also didn't bat on Wednesday despite planning to do so.
"Such injuries take around 2 to 3 weeks to heal and therefore he will miss the matches against Zimbabwe," BCB's senior physician Dr Debashis Chowdhury said. "He will begin his rehab under the BCB's medical team as soon as the pain subsides."
Since making his ODI debut in December last year, Soumya has been a regular in the Bangladesh side throughout 2015, during which he became the team's highest scorer in ODIs with 672 runs.
His replacement Kayes last played an ODI during this year's World Cup but he has been consistent in Tests, becoming the highest scorer in the format for Bangladesh this year with 384 runs at an average of 54.85.
"It is a huge opportunity for me," Imrul said. "I haven't played ODIs since the World Cup. I have been in decent touch since the NCL started in September. I have worked on a few things and I have made some tactical changes to my batting.
"I hope to do something good from this chance. I think my Test form will help me in ODIs. Scoring runs in international cricket, regardless of the format, gives a player confidence."
Imrul and Anamul Haque were the leading candidates to replace Sarkar and their 105-run opening stand against the Zimbabweans in the practice match in Fatullah was a duel. Imrul came out on top because, according to the chief selector, of his fluency this season.
"I didn't take this innings as a path into the ODI team. I just tried to bat better in a one-day setting. I worked in the gaps in my game. I am batting well, and if I can continue in this vein, I can bat better," Imrul said.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84