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Russell Domingo: Tamim Iqbal doubtful for Zimbabwe Test, Mushfiqur Rahim on track

The Bangladesh head coach is also pleased with the "good energy and attitude" brought by the returning Shakib Al Hasan

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Russell Domingo chats with Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, Dhaka, January 18, 2021

While Russell Domingo was unsure of Tamim Iqbal playing Zimbabwe, he says Shakib Al Hasan is "hungry to play Tests again"  •  Raton Gomes/BCB

Tamim Iqbal is doubtful for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe that starts on Wednesday. According to coach Russell Domingo, the opener is yet to recover fully from a knee injury that he picked up during the Dhaka Premier League last month. Domingo, however, had better news about Mushfiqur Rahim's recovery from the finger injury.
"We are still not 100% sure about Tamim," Domingo said. "There's still a lot of doubt regarding him. I think a decision will be made in the near future. Mushfiq is pretty confident that he will be fit to play. He has done his rehab really well. Everything seems to be on track. I am pretty confident that he will play."
Domingo was pleased to see the renewed energy and focus of Shakib Al Hasan too, who returned to the Test side having missed the Sri Lanka Test series in April.
"Shakib looks really hungry to play Tests again," he said. "The thing that's always the key with big players is their desire and attitude when they come into a Test series. It is great to have him back. He balances the side really well.
"He bats in the top six, and he is a frontline bowler. He is what every international team is looking for, so it is really pleasing to have him back. He has brought really good energy and attitude on this tour as well."
The Harare pitch is generally on the slower side. Keeping that in mind, Domingo expected his players to remain patient and play "hard, attritional cricket".
"I think when playing in Harare, patience is very important with bat and ball," Domingo said. "I have been here a few times and scoring rates haven't been very high. You have to maintain pressure for long periods of time before getting wickets. It is definitely not a venue where you run through a batting line-up or score 350 runs in a day. It is hard, attritional cricket. They play smart cricket here. We will have our task cut out in the next few days."
That also means Bangladesh will have to be on their toes in the field all the time; their catching hasn't been up to the mark in the last six months.
"We have to be patient, disciplined and hold on to the chances, which might not come around often. When they do come, we have to be mentally ready to take those chances."
Bangladesh are yet to have a look at the pitch, though. "Unfortunately, the groundsman hasn't allowed us to look at the pitches," Domingo said. "So once we have had a good look at the pitch, either later today or tomorrow, we will have more ideas about what sort of bowling attack we will be looking at."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84