Bangladesh drop Mustafizur for Afghanistan Test

Mustafizur Rahman stretches out during training Associated Press

Bangladesh have left out Mustafizur Rahman from the 15-man squad that will take on Afghanistan in the one-off Test in Chattogram starting next Thursday. Apart from Mustafizur, Tamim Iqbal and Khaled Ahmed were also missing from the squad; Tamim was granted leave by the BCB earlier this month for recovery while Khaled recently underwent a knee surgery.

Compared to the squad that last played Tests in March this year against New Zealand, Bangladesh brought back captain Shakib Al Hasan, Taskin Ahmed and Mosaddek Hossain. Shakib and Taskin were originally in that squad but had pulled out due to last-minute injuries. Mosaddek returned to the longer version after 18 months, having last played a Test against Sri Lanka in February last year.

Mosaddek becomes another spin-bowling option in a squad heavy with four frontline spinners, like their last home Test series against Afghanistan. They also retained pace bowlers Abu Jayed and Ebadat Hossain, who somewhat impressed in New Zealand, along with Taskin, who had been included in the New Zealand tour earlier in the year following a decent BPL campaign.

Taskin last played a first-class match in December last year, and his last Test in October 2017, in South Africa. Jayed bowled well in New Zealand without much luck while Ebadat showed signs of good pace too.

But there's some concern in the top order as the selectors didn't pick an opener in place of Tamim. Soumya Sarkar is likely to open with Shadman Islam, although he batted in the middle order in New Zealand.

Squad for one-off Test: Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Soumya Sarkar, Shadman Islam, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Nayeem Hasan, Abu Jayed, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadat Hossain