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November 13, 2008
Batsmen Raqibul Hasan and Imrul Kayes have earned call-ups to the Bangladesh Test squad after the selectors chose to retain the one-day squad that played South Africa for the two Tests against the same opposition starting November 19 in Bloemfontein. Fast bowler Nazmul Hossain made a return to the squad four years after playing his only Test against India in Chittagong.
While Raqibul has played in seven ODI series since his debut in March 2008, the South African tour is Kayes' first full series; he made his debut against New Zealand in Dhaka last month. Naeem Islam and medium-pacer Mahububul Alam, who did not make the XI in both ODIs, are also participating in their first away series.
Bangladesh lost the three-ODI series 2-0 to South Africa after the final game in East London was washed out.
The exodus of senior players to the ICL in September forced the selectors to go with a young and inexperienced squad with 10 out of the 15 under the age of 22 and only four having played 10 or more Tests. Raqibul, who fractured his thumb during the ODI series in Australia in September, said on the South African tour he realised the importance of improving the basics and skill-set. "There is no shortage of confidence and I don't think there is any extra pressure on me," Raqibul told the Dhaka-based Daily Star. Kayes, who aggregated 15 in the two ODIs, hoped he would adjust to international cricket soon. "It's bad luck for me that I had successfully overcame the initial stage which is most tough but couldn't convert it to something big."
Naeem echoed Kayes' feelings and said the experience of playing domestic cricket could not compare to the international level. "If you want to perform here you have to have the quality or the intention to improve fast otherwise you simply can't survive," Naeem said.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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