Liton Kumar Das has stormed back into the Bangladesh squad for the one-off Test against India, riding on a maiden first-class double century in domestic cricket.
Paceman Shafiul Islam has also returned to the Tigers’ fold but there was no place for young Mustafizur Rahman, who is still working towards full fitness, in the 15-man squad announced on Wednesday.
Having recovered from injuries, skipper Mushfiqur Rahim and top-order batsmen Imrul Kayes and Mominul Haque, all of whom had missed the last Test against New Zealand in Christchurch, were given the green light after passing the fitness test.
Liton’s inclusion as wicketkeeper-batsman came at the expense of Nurul Hasan Sohan who was quite impressive behind the stumps on his debut in Christchurch. It was Liton’s skills with the bat, however, that gave him the edge.
The selectors are also hoping Liton can bring stability to the batting in case Mushfiqur gets injured at the last moment. If Mushfiqur decides to focus on his batting, Liton’s availability will allow Bangladesh to restrategise.
Liton made his debut in mid-2015 in a Test against India at home. He had played three Tests and as many innings to score 97 at 32.33 including a half-century.
He had been dropped from the limited-overs team after going through a lean spell with the bat, but he lost his Test place to an injury.
His recovery was followed by a timely double-century in the Bangladesh Cricket League, prompting the selectors to hand him a cap in Bangladesh’s first trip to India for a bilateral series since they got their Test status in 2000.
Pacer Rubel Hossain and batsman Nazmul Hossain Shanto, who failed to impress on his debut in Christchurch, have been dropped.
Bangladesh will be off to Hyderabad on Thursday morning. They have a two-day warmup match beginning in Sunday.
Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque , Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Taskin Ahmed, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Taijul Islam, Subashis Roy Chowdhury, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Kumar Das Shafiul Islam.