Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2012-13 February 24, 2013

Bangladesh pick Mominul for Sri Lanka Tests


Left-arm spinner Enamul Haque jnr has returned to the Bangladesh Test squad after more than three years following his selection in the 15-man squad to tour Sri Lanka next month. Seamer Robiul Islam and batsman Jahurul Islam have also been recalled, while Mominul Haque has made it to the Test squad for the first time.

The major name that is missing is Shakib Al Hasan, out injured and about to undergo surgery to correct a shin injury. Elias Sunny was not included while Junaid Siddique and Nazimuddin were not in the 25-man preliminary squad, which was announced on February 18.

Enamul and Mominul have been taken to replace Shakib, according to chief selector Akram Khan who opted for prior international experience when replacing the allrounder.

Enamul has taken 105 first-class wickets in the last two seasons, the highest in the National Cricket League this season. His last Test appearance was in a Bangladesh win, and where he took six wickets. But he made way for a three-man pace attack against India thereafter, though he was in the Test squad, and indifferent ODI form had him excluded for the next three years. This time he was picked ahead of Mosharraf Hossain and Saqlain Sajib, left-arm spinners who have also done well this season.

In the case of Mominul, it was his recent ODI experience against West Indies which won him a place for a possible middle-order spot. He pushed aside Marshall Ayub, the season's most prolific batsman in first-class cricket, Akram saying it was a "50-50 call".

"This was a tough selection, because we had to pick two players to replace Shakib," Akram said. "Enamul won the left-arm spinner's position ahead of Mosharraf Hossain and Saqlain Sajib. He is in form and has Test experience. Mominul was also a tough call but we need a left-hander in the middle order, so Marshall Ayub, despite his two double-hundreds, misses out."

"I have spoken to Marshall on the phone, told him why he wasn't taken this time. But the door is still open for him, he should continue to perform as he has been. It is unfortunate that we had to leave him out."

Jahurul returns to the squad after playing three Tests in 2010, but he has played ODI cricket recently. Both he and Robiul have been kept as additional options, although the former has a good chance for a place in the top order, said Akram. "He [Jahurul] could be one of the top three with Tamim [Iqbal] and [Shahriar] Nafees.

"Robiul has trained in the National Cricket Academy during the BPL and he has played in the BCL. But we are not sure about Shafiul Islam, and in general we are facing a challenge to form a pace attack," he said.

The two-Test series in Sri Lanka will be Mushfiqur Rahim's first away Tests as captain after he took over in October, 2011. He will lead the middle order, which will include Naeem Islam, Mahmudullah and Nasir Hossain while it is now likely that Anamul and Jahurul will battle for the position of the other opener with Tamim Iqbal. Shahriar Nafees' BPL performance saved him a place in the squad after an indifferent showing in the Tests against West Indies.

Offspinner Sohag Gazi is also going to be a part of the first overseas Test series, and will be an automatic choice after an impressive start to his career late last year, but the pace attack will have to be assembled in Sri Lanka as only Rubel Hossain looks like a first-choice.

Bangladesh will begin the series with a three-day match against Sri Lanka Development Emerging Team at Matara from March 3 to 5, before the Test series, which begins in Galle on March 8. The second Test will be played in Colombo from March 16.

Squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Mahmudullah (vice-capt), Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees, Anamul Haque, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Sohag Gazi, Abul Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Enamul Haque, Jahurul Islam, Mominul Haque, Shahadat Hossain, Robiul Islam.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2013, 10:57 GMT

    great team so far even without sakib , this would be the best 11 tamim , anamul , mahmudullah , jahurul , musfiq , nasir ,enamul , abul , shaddat , gazi , marshal

  • SAIFUR RAHMAN DURJOY on February 25, 2013, 10:22 GMT

    Mominul's inclusion ahead of Marshall Ayub in the squad does make some sense, as he had a quite a good debut international outing against the WI. but probably the stronger reason to include him is to have a left hander in the lower-middle order keeping in mind Lankan's have a good inform left arm spinner Rangana Herath. But then again Ayub's leg-spin could have been a good option too. Mehrab Jr. is also unlucky but he could have also made the squad in place of Shahdat to add more left hand power in the batting line up. Shahdat is hardly going to get any success, I wonder if he will bowl more than 10 overs even if he is selected for the starting line-up, he will definitely have economy of over 5 runs per over, I hope that this is the last chance selectors going to give to him.

  • John on February 25, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    This is a good series for Srilankan batsmen to improve their batting records after a debacle in the form of Aussies series.

  • Ashqar on February 25, 2013, 4:59 GMT

    u r replacing left hander with a left this the logic.....if it is then where is mehrah hossain jr....he had a good domestic season....why mominul....

  • Ashqar on February 25, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    rubel hossain,shahadat hossain,abul hasan,robiul islam.....!!!! i wonder who is going to are tested several times before..unfortunately failed to impact..hope the best ....

  • nathaniel on February 25, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    In high level cricket , its not important for a team at all whether the middle-order batsman is letf-handed or right-handed , what matter is how good and talented/promising the batsman is. The choice of akram khan to take momenul over marshall and some useless ballers over others is not praise-worthy . This guy wanted to resign in past because other selectors wanted to drop his nephew (tamim iqbal) for his bad form , this shows perhaps akram khan is not interested in the best possible team for BD rather his favourite combination of players for BD team. I dont know about other BD fans but I, a BD fan, seriously wish akram khan be dropped soon for the sake of BD cricket.

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2013, 4:50 GMT

    Akra boos you do understand cricket better...and I believe as your strong fan you are not stupid.... But you wanted a lefty over a good batsman who deserve his name in the team is seems like stupid excuse....mominul has lot more to prove...Marshall made his point... Marshall have not played to replace shakib he played to make his own spot... Why Akram boss you are becoming one of them...who we hate as politician.....

  • Zahirul on February 25, 2013, 4:43 GMT

    3 players fighting for one opening slot, this is ridiculous. Considering Tamim an automatic choice for one slot, the other remains open for Nafees, Anam and Jahurul. The former one especially given enough chance to prove but failed and could be easily omitted. Now if the open slot is to be for first two, Jahurul would be default choice for first down and still Marshal is better choice anytime over him. The rest squad will be followed by Naeem, Mushfiq, Nasir, batsmen, if they go with it. Two spinners: Gazi & Enamul and two pacers: Rubel & Shahadat. Now, it would be unwise including Mominul in excuse of all rounder in a Test match, he is mediocre in every department and not ideal for test squad. Nasir is not in best form with bowling while Naeem/Mahmudullah is not as effective to take regular wickets in test, so again including Momin would be a bad decision. Now, if I can't give him a position at any situation, why taking him instead of Marshall!!!

  • Rahim on February 25, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    My Squad: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Mahmudullah (vice-capt), Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees, Anamul Haque, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Sohag Gazi, Abul Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Enamul Haque, Jahurul Islam,Marshal Ayub, Abdur Razzak, Mashrafi And Shahadat.

  • shahadat on February 25, 2013, 4:10 GMT

    not selecting marshall ayub and selecting shahadat/abul/robiul/mominul is crime, when we have so many good performer in BPL, DPL.

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