Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Colombo March 15, 2013

Fit Tamim, Rubel likely to return in Colombo


A fully fit squad, with Tamim Iqbal and Rubel Hossain having recovered from their injuries, means Bangladesh will make a few changes to the playing XI for the second Test in Colombo. Tamim and Rubel are expected to return to the side, and the composition of the bowling attack is expected to reflect the team's strength rather than the conditions at the R Premadasa Stadium.

Despite a greenish pitch, Bangladesh have not often used three seamers, and none of them in this attack guarantees control or wickets - none of the pace bowlers average less than 50, while the lowest strike-rate is 74.

"Rubel is fit, he will probably play. [But] we don't have experience of playing with three seamers, so we have to consider that," captain Mushfiqur Rahim said. "Everyone is fit, all sixteen players are ready for selection, unless someone pulls up tomorrow morning."

Rubel's return could see Shahadat Hossain - despite having the best bowling average and strike-rate among the bowlers - sitting out after he had taken just one wicket in the first Test. He bowled at decent pace up front with the new ball, but as the game moved on, his lack of fitness caught up with him and he struggled to bowl at the same pace at various stages of the match.

Abul Hasan, on the other hand, made an ordinary start before a notable spell on the second morning, although he had only one wicket to show for his effort. After only his second Test, Abul won praise from Kumar Sangakkara for his pace and is likely to keep his place for the Colombo Test. Robiul Islam is the other pace-bowling option in the squad, and the team management has him ready in case three pace bowlers are needed with Sohag Gazi playing as the only specialist spinner.

"Our bowling attack is relatively less experienced compared to our batting. We should give them some time, because players take time to adapt to Test cricket," Mushfiqur said. "The bowlers have to take up the challenge of bowling consistently in one area. Like our batting partnerships in the first Test, I want the bowlers to bowl in partnerships, bowling tightly from both ends."

The second spinner's spot is a toss-up between two left-arm spinnrs: Abdur Razzak, who has a better limited-overs record, and Elias Sunny, who hasn't lived up to his early promise in Test cricket. Razzak, the more experienced of the two, is likely to be selected ahead of Sunny, as he has the ability to offer the control that is being sought. He has been bowling well in the domestic competition and in ODI cricket, though the last time he bowled in a Test match was in August 2011.

The change at the top of the order is a lot more straightforward. Tamim's wrist injury had forced him out of the Galle Test but during the game and afterwards in Colombo, he batted regularly in the nets. Anamul Haque and Jahurul Islam opened the innings in the absence of Tamim. Given Jahurul's reasonably better performance, particularly in the second innings, the axe is likely to fall on Anamul.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2013, 3:00 GMT

    Situation is smiling at Sri Lanka. It is true that Lankans are favourite in this green condition. Hard work to do for Bangladesh as bowling is not up to mark for test currently. Hoping good for my motherland. Difficult tusk to do indeed.

  • Bayzid on March 15, 2013, 21:14 GMT

    Anamul should be in the top XI. He is one of the great batsman who needs more on field experience

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2013, 20:37 GMT

    Undoubtedly inclusion of Tamim and Razzak in the team makes better Bangladesh in both sectors of the game than the precious test. Even that it would be interesting to see how they will come up with changed field condition and sudden rising expectations after the first test. Hope for the best for Tigers.

  • salah on March 15, 2013, 19:18 GMT

    Bangladesh 11: Tamim,Jahurul, Ashraful, Mominul,Mushfique, Mahmudullah, Nasir, Sohag, Razzak, Abul, better that sunny insteed for abul.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2013, 18:58 GMT

    Essentially Bangladesh have learned, if opener or any other wicket falls, it is not the end of the day. Ashraful, Mushfiqur and even Abul showed that.

    I guess now we have to learn to win test matches, with cool precision, not just narrow sudden wins, but a winning steak, against ist rank teams.

    Let's begin with Sri Lanka.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2013, 18:55 GMT

    Marshal aiyub should get a chance... lets play with 8 batsman. Tamim, Jahurul, Ashraful, Mominul, Mushfique,marshal, Mahmudullah, Nasir, Sohag, Abul, Rubel :P lets play and draw the test series..

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2013, 18:23 GMT

    Anamul should work hard on his footwork other wise he will suffer to play in England, South Africa, Newziland even in Zimbabwe ... considering the last match's performance Jahirul is right choice.

  • Muhammad Rakibul on March 15, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    If Mashrafe were fit he could've been devastating in green pitch. Mash is the only BD bowler with a bowling avg. less than 50 (41 to b exact). Current BD seam attack isn't worthy of Test.

  • Jonny on March 15, 2013, 15:33 GMT

    Tamim, Anamul, Ashraful, Mominul, Rahim, Mahmudullah, Nasir, Gazi, Abul, Razzak and Rubel.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2013, 14:46 GMT

    Bring it on. After last performances of Bangladesh respect for Ban team has been greatly increased. Besides i wish Ban give us a real scare for denigrating tests for limited overs cricket.

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