Mushfiqur and Taskin return for first Test against India

Zakir Hasan gets a maiden call-up after scoring 173 in a four-day game against India A last week

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Mushfiqur Rahim plays a defensive shot, Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Chattogram, 4th day, May 18, 2022

Mushfiqur Rahim had missed Bangladesh's previous Test series in West Indies  •  AFP/Getty Images

Mushfiqur Rahim, Yasir Ali and Taskin Ahmed have returned to Bangladesh's squad for the first Test against India starting in Chattogram on December 14, while left-hand batter Zakir Hasan has been given his maiden call-up.
Mushfiqur had missed Bangladesh's previous Test series in West Indies to perform Hajj, while Yasir and Taskin were injured.
Zakir, 24, made it to the 17-member side after scoring 173 for Bangladesh A in the first four-day game against India A in Cox's Bazar last week. His innings helped Bangladesh A draw the game despite being nine down and on the verge of an innings defeat. Zakir, a top-order batter who keeps wickets, was also the highest run-scorer - 442 at 56.25 - in this season's National Cricket League, Bangladesh's first-class competition.
"Zakir has been on our radar for the last five years," Bangladesh's chief selector Minhajul Abedin said. "He was in the High Performance unit for four of those years, and this season he was the highest scorer in first-class cricket. He played a good knock against India A last week. It saved the game. Selector Abdur Razzak, with the Bangladesh A side, witnessed the game and it seems Zakir is prepared for the highest level."
Tamim Iqbal, who missed the ODI series with a groin injury, Mosaddek Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman were the high-profile names missing from the Test squad, which will be led by Shakib Al Hasan. It is understood that Tamim's recovery could take until December 22, which could put him in doubt for the second Test starting on December 22 in Mirpur.
Mushfiqur's return, however, is a huge boost for Bangladesh, while Yasir comes back to the Test format after a long layoff following the injury he suffered during the tour of South Africa in March and April. The hosts have picked five fast bowlers in their squad, along with the regulation three spinners in Shakib, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taijul Islam.
The real battle, however, will be for top-order spots. Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Mominul Haque are out of form, while Najmul Hossain Shanto's spot is also shaky after scoring just one half-century this year. The middle order looks stable with Mushfiqur, Shakib and Litton taking their usual places.
While the series is a crucial one for India from the point of view of their qualification for the World Test Championship, Bangladesh will hope to cause an upset after defeating the visitors in the ODI series. Bangladesh have never won a Test match against India, having lost nine and drawn two out of 11 games.
Test squad: Mahmudul Hasan Joy, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mominul Haque, Yasir Ali, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Litton Das, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Khaled Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain, Shoriful Islam, Zakir Hasan, Rejaur Rahman Raja, Anamul Haque

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84