Bangladesh have added Mominul Haque to their squad for the One-Day International series in South Africa amid doubts about Tamim Iqbal’s fitness status and availability for the three matches.
Mominul has been a regular in the Test squad, but played the last of his 26 ODIs against Sri Lanka at the 2015 World Cup. He has scored just 543 runs at an average of 23.60 in ODIs, a far cry from his 1825 runs at 45.62 in 24 Tests.
But a hamstring injury has forced Tamim out of the second Test, beginning Friday in Bloemfontein, with Thihan Chandramohan, the physiotherapist, hopeful that the opening batsman would recover in time for the ODI series, which starts October 15.
Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Mehedi Hasan, Mustafizur Rahman, Taskin Ahmed, Rubel Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin.
Tamim pulled a muscle during a three-day practice match in Benoni last month and did not appear fully fit during Bangladesh’s 333-run defeat in the first Test in Potchefstroom. Pushed down the order to No. 5 – the first time in his 52-Test career when he did not open – he made 39 in the first innings and then a duck in the second.
“We have concerns about the fitness of Tamim. So we thought we might need a back up,” said Habibul Bashar, the Bangladesh chief selector, while announcing Mominul’s addition to the squad. “Mominul is already with the team. So his name popped up in our mind immediately.”
The original squad, named on Thursday, included Mohammad Saifuddin, the left-arm medium pacer, as the only new face and welcomed back Shakib Al Hasan, the star allrounder who skipped the Test series after being granted a break from the format.
Nasir Hossain, the allrounder, and Liton Das, who has taken over wicketkeeping duties for the national side in Tests, were also included in the squad, with Mosaddek Hossain, Sunzamul Islam and Shafiul Islam the three players to miss out from the Champions Trophy 2017 squad that powered Bangladesh to the semifinal of a major tournament for the first time.
Saifuddin, 20, impressed the selectors with his performances at the Under-19 World Cup in 2016 where he was the highest wicket-taker for his side, finishing with 13 wickets in six games at 14.92. He was subsequently propelled into the national setup and was handed a debut in the Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka earlier this year.
The first ODI will be played at Diamond Oval in Kimberley, with the remaining matches in Paarl (October 22) and East London (October 26). Bangladesh will also play two T20Is to end the month-long tour.