With Mustafizur Rahman sidelined as part of precaution measurement following his elbow injury, sustained during the ODI series, Bangladesh formed the playing XI for the first Test against Zimbabwe with just one specialist pacer in local boy Abu Jayed Rahi, report agencies.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam had to share the new ball with Rahi when the visitors sent Bangladesh to field first. With occasional medium pacer Ariful Haque (a debutant along with left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam Apu) accompanying Rahi, Bangladesh basically fielded a spin-heavy attack, sticking to their rules of dominating the opponents on a pitch tailor-made for spinners.
Whereas head-coach Steve Rhodes has recently stressed the needs to prepare on home soil in order to do well abroad. And quite contradictorily, the concerned authorities neither look interested in producing sporting wickets, nor do they want to experiment with their pace bowling unit when there is a golden opportunity before them, considering the strength of Zimbabwe, who hasn’t won a Test in Bangladesh since 2001. The Southern African nation also didn’t win any Test since their victory against Pakistan at Harare in 2013.
“When we go away from home, we need to learn how to bowl in those wickets.
We need to produce some bowlers who can bowl well on those wickets,” Rhodes told reporters before the Sylhet-Test.
Bangladesh had four pacers in the 15-member squad that was announced ahead of the match. However, they were reluctant to include either of Shafiul Ahmed and uncapped Khaled Ahmed.
Bangladesh pace-bowling coach Courtney Walsh also does not like this practice of having spinners in abundance and not giving enough chance to the pacers. He had put the blame on the inconsistent team-selection and the poor pace attack for Bangladesh’s unproductive run in Tests.
“There is a lot of youngsters coming through. If they don’t get selected to play, you won’t know what they are. It is one of the things we have to look at a little bit more. We can’t be too afraid to give the youngsters a chance to express themselves a bit more. If they are kept waiting in the wings, they will never get a chance to play,” Walsh told reporters in September.
“The more you play the best chance you will get to learn. You will get more experience by playing in the middle. Sometimes you have to throw these youngsters in the deep to see what they are made of. But if you keep protecting them and say they are not ready, they might never get ready. Sometimes you have to expose talent, you have to give them a chance,” he added.