Stuart Law, the Bangladesh coach, has said that dropping Mohammad Ashraful for the two Tests against West Indies was a message that players needed to perform if they wanted to play for the country.

The Test side, Law said, had been "underachieving as a unit" and maybe "it is time for a change." It also provided an opportunity for the players who have come in to the squad "to stick their hand up and stake a claim for a ten-year career."

Bangladesh had been defeated by Zimbabwe on their comeback to Test cricket, after which Shakib Al Hasan was removed as captain and replaced by Mushfiqur Rahim. Their Test squad, named on October 18 after a win in the final ODI in Chittagong, did not include Ashraful and left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak, while allrounder Mahmudullah and fast bowler Shafiul Islam were not fit.

Ashraful's axeing, after a poor ODI series against West Indies, did not mean that he was finished, Law said. "He's a great guy to have around the dressing-room. His work ethic has been outstanding, whether it be gym sessions, training, batting, bowling or fielding, he is always there. You want to see him have success but unfortunately, other things have come in.

"He's not in the Test side but he's not finished. He has his best years ahead of him. He needs to go away and think about ways to score runs. If he does that, I think he'll be successful.

"Sometimes these calls are made not to disregard the player completely but to make sure he understands that if you play in the team, you've got to be performing. That'd be the message to all the players: if you want to be part of the Bangladesh team, you can't do okay. You have to perform."

Of the new players in the squad, Law said that left-arm spinner Elias Sunny had "the chance to stake a claim for a long career."

"I've seen him in the BCB Cup, he has pretty good numbers in first-class cricket. He showed plenty of control and took wickets in the BCB Cup and the four-day game. That's all you need to do as a spinner."

Law said that Robiul Islam had been left out of the squad because Bangladesh were "very unlikely to play three seamers" in the Tests against West Indies. Nazmul Hossain, Rubel Hossain and Shahadat Hossain are the medium-pacers in the squad.

"He [Robiul] misses out but he's very firmly in our plans. He has a big heart and he always keeps trying. That's the sort of bowler we want. There are a couple of issues with his action that we can iron out in the next few weeks. He can bowl a lot quicker and swing more."