Taijul Islam and Shuvagata Hom set for Test call-ups
Taijul Islam, the uncapped left-arm spinner, has left Dhaka on Friday evening to join the Bangladesh team in the West Indies. Tajiul as well as Robiul Islam, Shafiul Islam and allrounder Shuvagata Hom have been added to the Test squad.*
Taijul is expected to arrive in time for the only Twenty20 game of the tour, and remain for the two-Test series starting next month.
"As I had earlier informed Mashrafe [Mortaza] and Taskin [Ahmed] will not be playing the Test series," chief selector Faruque Ahmed told Dhaka Tribune. "They will be replaced by two other fast bowlers [Shafiul and Robiul]. Taijul has played recently in the West Indies with the Bangladesh A team where he took wickets. Shuvagata will add some strength in the middle-order."
Apart from Mashrafe and Taskin, left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak will head home early.
Taijul is the season's highest-taker in Bangladesh's domestic cricket, taking 55 wickets at an average of 22.7. During Bangladesh A's recent tour of the West Indies, he took nine wickets in the two four-day matches. With Shakib Al Hasan suspended and Razzak not considered a regular Test bowler, Taijul was always seen as a frontrunner for a place in the Test squad.
Robiul has been Bangladesh's Test specialist in the fast-bowling department. He hasn't had a great year so far though, picking up just 11 wickets in five first-class games, and going wicketless in the only Test he has played this year. He has also struggled with a hamstring injury in the past 12 months.
More intriguing is the decision to pick Shafiul, as he has not been in consideration for Test cricket for more than three years. He has been the 12th highest wicket-taker among quick bowlers in first-class this season, leaving many above him frustrated.
Shuvagata is another interesting choice, as his all-round performance this season has been taken into consideration, and not just as a batsman. He had played four ODIs in 2011, after which he faded away from the national side. He has averaged 38 with the bat and picked up 21 wickets in the 2013-14 season, and as an allrounder he has leapfrogged Farhad Reza for a place despite Farhad being second highest-scorer in the 2013-14 first-class season and taking 15 wickets.
As Faruque suggested, Shuvagata could find himself in the middle-order and expected to bowl a fair share of the overs. But it is more likely that Taijul, if he remains fit, will make his Test debut in the Caribbean.
*12.00GMT, August 25: This article has been updated after the BCB confirmed the additions to the Test squad
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84