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Questions rise over Naim’s inclusion in Test

Published : 02 Dec 2021 07:29 PM

After the failure in the T20 World Cup, various decisions of the Bangladesh team management caused a stir. Before the series against Pakistan, there was a determined vibe among the BCB officials to make amends. Coach Russell Domingo's power was reduced and Khaled Mahmood was made the team director. However, in the series against Pakistan, there was another example of not following the process. All kinds of weird explanations came from the selectors.

A 20-man squad was given for the second Test against Pakistan. Saif Hasan fell ill due to typhoid and now it is 19 people. The selectors' explanation for such a large squad is not for only one Test, but also keeping in mind for the tour of New Zealand. If that’s the case, then the whole New Zealand tour team could have been announced together.

However, all these have been overshadowed by the inclusion of Naim Sheikh in the Test squad and the explanation of the chief selector in this regard.

Naim has been playing T20 for the national team for the last few months. The T20 performance of this left-arm opener is quite questionable. He has never been tested in longer format of the game. He last played a first-class match 18 months ago. He has played only 6 first class matches and has an average of only 16.63.

It remains to be seen how he will perform in red ball cricket at home. He was rushed to the Test team. Explaining the reason, the chief selector said, "Naim has been playing short version cricket for the last one year. His experience of playing in the international arena has been created. So, he has been taken in the Test team. Moreover, our openers are repeatedly failing. So, the team management thought of including him in the team. And we hope that Naim will do well in the Test if given a chance.

In other words, the reason for Naim's inclusion in the Test team is that he has played several T20s in the last few months! Tests are a different ball game, different situations of cricket. The bowlers also have different tactics. Minhajul, the one-time captain of the country's cricket, has no reason not to know that. Yet the explanation he gave was quite surprising.

It is said that Naim will be the new addition to the Bangladesh team as if it is a test laboratory now. Naim's style of playing in T20 has been questioned since last month. He played T20 at a slow pace. Is it possible to take him to Test because he is playing slow T20 now?

In T20, bowlers bowl defensively, runs are blocked. The Tests show aggressive bowling. It is difficult to decide which batsman will succeed in the Tests after playing a slow game in T20. There is a difference between white ball and red ball. Bowlers also have the freedom to sort out the field by understanding the weakness of the batsmen. It is rare in the world for a player to be considered in a Test because he has played in T20 for the last few months. Even if Naim performs in the Tests, questions remain about the selection process.

Recently, Fazle Mahmud Rabbi has scored 603 runs at an average of 60 in 6 matches at number three in the National League. The selectors did not consider this familiar name of domestic cricket. The chief selector's explanation is that there is a difference between domestic cricket and international cricket and these national league performances are not coming to their judgment. But the question may be, what is the real reason for taking a player in the team who has not yet proved himself in longer version of domestic cricket?