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DHAKA: Bangladesh will see how opening batsman Tamim Iqbal gets on during practice before deciding if he is fit to play in the one-off Test against Afghanistan in Dhaka starting Wednesday.

The hosts are already missing star all-rounder and skipper Shakib Al Hasan, who has been nursing a finger injury, and there are also doubts whether pace bowler Taskin Ahmed will play.

The availability of Tamim – one of Bangladesh’s most experienced players and posting an average of 38.89 with the bat – will depend how his back is after practice.

“I think he is going to train today and see how he feels,” coach Chandika Hathurusingha said on Tuesday.

“He trained the day before and he had some discomfort when he was doing certain disciplines, fielding and batting.

“So he’s going to train today and we will assess him after training.”

If Tamim does not make it, Zakir Hasan and Mahmudul Hasan could open the batting for Bangladesh.

Afghanistan confident ahead of Bangladesh Test without Rashid

Hathurusingha also refused to guarantee the inclusion of Taskin despite him recovering from a side injury that ruled him out of Bangladesh’s last Test, a seven-wicket win over Ireland in April.

With the Asia Cup and one-day World Cup approaching, the team are worried about Taskin’s workload.

He is one of the few players who is a regular starter for Bangladesh in all three formats when fit.

“Physically I think he is in the best condition we all have seen,” said Hathurusingha.

“There’s no injury. Bowling workload is the one little bit of concern we had leading up to this period.

“So again, him also, we will assess after today’s training and then make up our minds.”

The one-off Test against Afghanistan at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium is set to take place on a green track much like the one for the Ireland Test.

“You know that with this heat it’ll deteriorate very quickly and then it’ll help the spinners in the latter parts of the game,” said Hathurusingha.

The two teams have played only one previous Test, with Afghanistan beating their hosts by 224 runs in Chittagong in 2019.

Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott said the visitors would miss experienced all-rounder Rashid Khan, who has been rested with an eye on upcoming matches.

“It is very difficult to replace a guy like Rashid. He has vast experience in playing all around the world in different competitions and different variations of the game,” he said.

“Obviously there’s a lot of cricket coming up. Asia Cup and World Cup is coming up… I certainly see this time off for him now to get his back sorted out, with a view to the future.”


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