NZ v Bangladesh Test: Mahmudullah backs youngsters to step up in absence of stars

Sport360 staff 18:21 27/02/2019
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Mahmudullah.

Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah has backed his young team to step to the challenge in the absence of senior players ahead of the first Test against New Zealand.

The Tigers were blanked 3-0 in the preceding ODI series and have their task cut out in the Hamilton Test which begins on Thursday with all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan out following a finger injury and Mushfiqur Rahim sidelined due to wrist issues.

However, Mahmudullah said it is a chance for youngsters to show what they are capable of.

“Mushfiqur is getting better. But perhaps we are not getting him in the first match,” Mahmudullah was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz. “Along with Mushfiqur, Shakib Al Hasan also has been an integral part of our team. It is really tough to set our best combination without them. I hope those who are getting chances to replace them will perform well and grab those chances.”

Conditions are likely to suit fast bowlers but the Tigers are light in experience in the pace department as well. Abu Jayed has played three Tests, Khaled Ahmed one while Ebadat Hossain is yet to make his Test bow.

However, Mahmudullah remained upbeat, saying: “Rahi [Abu Jayed] is our premier fast bowler. He has played some matches and performed well. We have Ebadat Hossain, a new talent, who can bowl at a great pace. And we also have Mustafizur (Rahman). Everyone has ideas about his capabilities. Now our main focus is to execute our plan in the middle.

“Everyone knows the class of Mustafizur, and to be honest, 27 wickets in 12 Tests does not reflect his capabilities. He is eager to perform and we are looking forward to it.”

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