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Mohammad Saifuddin, Shadman Islam in race to cement Test spots

These five players can break into or consolidate their places in the Test squad in Sri Lanka

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Saifuddin celebrates a wicket, Bangladesh v West Indies, World Cup 2019, Taunton, June 17, 2019

Mohammad Saifuddin celebrates a wicket  •  Getty Images

With Bangladesh's three-Test tour of Sri Lanka around the corner, ESPNcricinfo looks at five young Bangladesh players who have the chance to break into or consolidate their places in the Test side during the tour.
The mere mention of Saifuddin in a preliminary camp for a Test squad is an encouraging sign - it means he has reached a level of fitness that is considered good enough for the longer version. His ability with the ball in limited-overs cricket is impressive, while he has potential with the bat too.
What could stand in his way, though, is a lack of first-class cricket, having played just six days' games in the last two years. He has taken 60 wickets and also scored a century in the 34 matches he has played in the last six years, though. It will be interesting to see how Saifuddin builds up towards a potential Test debut, even though it is more than likely that he would have to need to be fitter to function as a full-fledged allrounder.
Hasan's rapid growth in first-class cricket, coupled with two good BPL seasons, prompted the national selectors into giving him a second go in the Bangladesh T20I side. While he didn't set the world alight, it is still hard to ignore his impressive numbers in the four-day cricket.
In the last three seasons, he has taken 75 wickets at 31.35 and scored 1524 runs at 53.62 in 23 matches with his steady offspin and mix of strokeplay and solidity. Hasan is still perhaps only in the selectors' radar as a back-up, but he certainly provides them with an option that's difficult to ignore.
The 20-year-old Mahmud made his T20I debut against Zimbabwe in March after impressing the selectors in the BPL. It earned him a place in the last Test squad too, although he is queued behind Abu Jayed and Ebadot Hossain in the pace race. He has a bit of speed and has shown signs of swing, and is known as a good fielder. It won't be too much of a surprise if he stays in the Test squad.
Ali awaits an international debut despite making it to two Bangladesh squads in the last 18 months. Chief selector Minhajul Abedin has often spoken highly of Ali, particularly after his improved fitness in the last couple of years. After nearly eight years of first-class cricket, he has scored eight centuries and has a 50-plus average, but it has been difficult to break into the Bangladesh batting line-up in the last few years. A Test cap may not be far away if the team management is looking for a newcomer with an aggressive intent, with runs behind him at that.
The 25-year-old Islam has recently recovered from a wrist injury, which kept him out of the Tests against Pakistan and Zimbabwe. His replacement, Saif Hassan, however, didn't get a big one, which could sometimes be reason enough for the national selectors to go back on their decisions - in this case, back to Islam. He did impress in his six Tests since making his debut against West Indies in 2018. But with just a single score of 76, he too hasn't entirely nailed down his position as Tamim Iqbal's opening partner.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84