Bangladesh’s Moeen one of three to watch during first Test
For the first time in 15 months, the Bangladesh selectors were required to pick a squad for a Test series. They did so by covering as many bases as possible.
Like England, the hosts named four spinners in their 14-man party for the game in Chittagong. A gaggle of all-rounders are also available for selection, while four players are in line to earn their first cap.
Here, we take a look at three of the more intriguing Tigers to follow as the series opener unfolds:
The Counter Attacking Batsman
Of the four uncapped players in the squad, Sabbir Rahman unquestionably has the most experience.
The 24-year-old has featured in 55 ODIs and T20Is combined since making his bow in the latter arena in February 2014 and scored 49 from 46 balls in the final one-day match against England last week.
Averaging 34.71 with three centuries in domestic first-class cricket, it’s expected that Rahman will make his Test debut at number seven in the order. That position will free him up to play the naturally-attacking style that’s sees him strike at a rate of 95 in one-dayers and 120.31 in T20s.
The Bangladeshi Moeen
Moeen Ali has an uncanny ability to divide opinion.
Predominantly a batsman that is being asked to perform the role of leading spinner for England, the 29-year-old finds his performances under constant scrutiny.
The Bangladesh version of that is Shuvagata Hom, who has a first-class average above 40 and eight centuries to his name, but is being selected for the Test team as a specialist spinner.
“We retained Shuvagata to tackle England’s left-handed batsmen,” chief selector Minhajul Abedin said when announcing the squad.
But with 16 wickets in his last domestic campaign, fans suggest there are better options to do that job.
The Debutant Quick
It’s quite possible that the home team only field two pace bowlers at Chittagong, expecting a docile deck and wishing to tackle that banality with spin.
Making the uncapped Kamrul Islam Rabbi one of the pair is a brave choice considering how tough it is to make a Test-match debut in a five-pronged seam attack, let alone a tandem.
However, the 24-year-old possesses genuine pace and an ability to reverse swing the old ball, and could prove a stern opponent to England’s lineup.
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