The Bangladesh Cricket Board has finally decided to adopt the much awaited rotation policy as they are planning to rest Mustafizur Rahman from the second Test against West Indies in order to preserve him for the white-ball leg of the tour.
The decision to send Shoriful Islam earlier than schedule and including him in the squad for the second Test at St Lucia clearly suggests that the team management is contemplating replacing Mustafizur with the Under-19 World Cup winning star for the series deciding second Test, scheduled to start from June 24.
Six right handed batsman in the opposition batting order prompted the team management to go for a like-for-like replacement. Bangladesh team director Khaled Mahmud echoed the same sentiment to Cricbuzz on Wednesday adding that though they have not decided the playing XI, the chances of Shoriful getting a game is really bright.
''His (Shoriful) chance of playing the second Test is quite bright though we are yet to finalize the XI for the second Test and if we rest Mustafizur and opt for Shoriful then you can say this is our first step towards implementing rotation policy,'' said Mahmud.
''We have always been thinking of introducing rotation policy and it is not only Mustafizur, we are thinking of rotating cricketers whoever plays three formats because it is difficult for them to play in all three formats. At least we can say that it is some kind of a start (introducing rotation policy) if Shoriful eventually makes it and you will see more in the coming days.
''We don't have any other option because we have many Tests in the coming days and we cannot stretch our fast bowlers because that will risk injuries."
The theory of opting for a rotation policy in order to manage the workload better first came up following Tamim Iqbal's decision to opt out of the T20I series against New Zealand owing to personal reasons in 2021.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan insisted that they will manage the workload of the players better after the T20 World Cup after several other leading cricketers of the country including Test skipper Shakib Al Hasan opined publicly that the time is high to rotate the players as a result of a increase in number of fixtures.
Mustafizur was already included for the series only after a lot of deliberation and was quite ineffective in the opening game of the series. The left-arm seamer, playing a Test after 16 months, looked jaded in the second innings and wasn't bowling at his best. Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo did hint that he might rest the seamer for the next game in order to preserve him for the white-ball games.
"He has bowled nicely but you want a little bit more. His pace can come up, but his control was good. He needs to be managed carefully. He has played a lot of cricket, and he still has to play a lot of cricket. We can't bowl him into the ground. He is an important white-ball bowler for us,'' Domingo said during the opening Test at Antigua.