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October 17, 2019

‘Mustafizur’s selection for India tour subject to fitness’


October 17, 2019

DUBAI: Bangladesh fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman’s selection for the India tour will be subject to him proving his fitness in the upcoming round of games in the National Cricket League, chief selector Minhajul Abedin said.

Mustafizur missed the opening round of games in the country’s premier first-class competition as he is still recovering from an ankle injury. But as per the BCB’s requirement, the left-arm pacer will have to take part in the domestic first-class competition before he can be considered eligible for selection.

“He (Mustafizur) will have to prove his fitness in the NCL game to be considered for the upcoming Test series against India,” Abedin said. “The physio had given us some guidelines. He was supposed to play from the very first match. However, because he has some minor problem with his ankle, he was not able to take the full load, and therefore was unable to play the first match.

“He is in the recovery phase now. We have to assess how many overs he can bowl. I have been given a guideline that he cannot bowl more than 15 overs (per day) in the upcoming match, and so we will consider that and subsequently assess his fitness during the four-day games.”

The second round of NCL games begins on October 17, which gives Mustafizur just over two weeks to prepare for the India tour, which begins with the first T20I on 3 November.

But Abedin said that the call on Mustafizur’s selection would entirely fall in the team management’s hands. “This is completely the decision of the team management,” he said. “We don’t work in the field. There is a fitness trainer, bowling coach, who will judge whether he can bowl in back-to-back matches and how many overs he can bowl.”

Abedin also acknowledged that the fitness of the fast bowlers is concerning at the moment, but said that it’s a matter that has been given more attention in recent months.

“We were really concerned about our pace bowlers, because right now, there are many players who are unavailable due to injury. If I make a list of ten players, then five of them will be on the injury list.

“Our pace bowlers are always criticised for their fitness levels. Now, however, the way we are prioritising our fitness from the first-class level, I think we will get the results in two years. If you don’t have good fitness, it is really tough to bowl in two innings.” Bangladesh visit India for three T20Is and two Tests.

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