Bangladesh Drop Aftab, Pick Debutant For 2nd Test
Friday, 19 March 2010

Batsman Jahirul Islam is set to make his debut for Bangladesh in the second Test against England that begins at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on Saturday.

The 24-year-old right-hander was originally drafted into the squad following the retirement of batsman Raqibul Hassan before the first Test in Chittagong. He scored 965 first-class runs this season for Rajshahi at an average of 68.92.

He replaces middle-order batsman Aftab Ahmed.

"This was definitely a moment I have looked forward to since I became a cricket player. The dream of playing cricket at Test level has always been my chief motivation," said Jahirul after learning about his inclusion.

"I have been in good form coming into the national team and I will take the confidence of the runs I had scored into the Test match.

"The national team environment has been amazing and everyone, starting from the players to the coaching staff and management, have welcomed me and have supported me," said

Bangladesh, who lost the first Test by 181 runs, also replaced pace bowler Shahadat Hossain for Shafiul Islam.

BBC Sport adds: England expect Stuart Broad to be fit for the second Test. The fast bowler missed training on Thursday but recuperated sufficiently to take part in Friday's net sessions.

"He had a little illness but we think he'll be fine. He's up and about now which he wasn't yesterday (Thursday)," said captain Alastair Cook.

Broad is likely to figure in a four-man pace attack, although Cook refused to rule out playing with two spinners.

Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn, who made his debut in the 181-run victory in Chittagong, would be most likely to make way should England opt for Kent's James Tredwell alongside frontline spinner Graeme Swann.

"We'll consider all the options and a second spinner is definitely one of those," said Cook, who is without fast bowlers James Anderson, Graham Onions and Ryan Sidebottom.

"We'll sit down and pick the best team to win the match. We did that in Chittagong and in hindsight we got it right.

"If we think that is the best way of going - two seamers, two spinners - then we will do that. It is very 'un-English', though.

"We are used to playing in English conditions where seamers do the majority of the work and you'd be very unlikely ever to go out in England with less than three seamers."

Cook, along with England's senior management and coach Andy Flower, will assess the Mirpur wicket on Friday before making their final decision.

And star batsmen Kevin Pietersen is hoping the surface in Mirpur Stadium will be more competitive than the wicket in Chittagong, where England's bowlers were made to work hard to earn 20 wickets on an unresponsive pitch.

"On days three, four or five of a Test match, you want your spin bowler to come into his own," he told BBC Sport.

"You don't want it to be really difficult on day five to bowl a team out. You need some sort of assistance and unfortunately, Chittagong didn't offer anything."

Bangladesh (from): Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Jahurul Islam, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain.


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