After finishing a tough task against the mighty Australia, Bangladesh Cricket team are ready to participate in a tougher task against the Proteas which will be started with the first Test in Potchefstroom on 28th September.
Bangladesh will play 2 Tests, 3 ODIs and 2 T-20Is against South Africa in this series. It won’t be so easy for the Tigers and they won’t get Shakib Al Hasan in the Test series as he has been granted 3-month break from the Test arena.
It will be an unusual scene for Test skipper Mushfiqur Rahim as this will be the first time that Shakib Al Hasan won’t be a part of the Test team since the 2014 series in West Indies. He was serving a 6-month suspension at that time.
Mushfiqur Rahim had a long chat with the Daily Star on Monday and there he talked about Shakib’s 3-month break from the Test arena. He said that he was not happy with the decision of the no.1 all-rounder.
Wicket-keeper batsman said, “Obviously I am not happy, being the captain of the side. But as he asked for a break to have some rest from his workload, that’s his personal decision which I also respect. At the same time, if he was injured we would have had to play without him, so that’s part of life.”
Bangladesh last toured South Africa in 2008 where Shakib performed brilliantly with both bat and ball. The majestic all-rounder picked up 11 wickets and scored 118 runs in that two-match Test series.
Shakib’s recent form in the longer format has been exceptional. He scored 665 runs and picked up 29 wickets in his last 7 Tests where Bangladesh won 3 of them.
On the other hand, selectors have given another chance to the veteran Mahmudullah Riyad to prove his worth in red-ball cricket as he is in the Test squad for South Africa series.
While talking to the Daily Star, Bangladesh Test skipper said the return of a senior cricketer like Mahmudullah Riyad would surely help the Tigers.
Mushfiqur Rahim concluded, “The inclusion of Riyad Bhai will add some experience to our side as he is a very seasoned campaigner for us. But still I would say Shakib is Shakib, and we are going to miss him badly.”