Mahmudullah has been recalled to Bangladesh’s 15-member squad for their two-Test series against South Africa, which begins on September 28. Bangladesh also strengthened their seam-bowling options by adding Subhasis Roy and Rubel Hossain to the squad.
Shakib Al Hasan, who was granted a break from the South Africa Tests, and Nasir Hossain, who underperformed in his comeback series against Australia, were excluded. It will be the first time Shakib won’t be part of the Test team since the series in 2014 against West Indies.
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin said it was a concern that Shakib opted out of the squad, but felt that a player’s mentality must be considered.
“I respect his decision but of course it is very hard to replace him,” Minhajul said. “We have to take into account his mental state because as a player I understand what he may be going through physically and mentally.”
Minhajul also said that Mahmudullah was his personal choice, based on his ability to adapt well on bouncy pitches and seaming conditions. Mahmudullah last played a Test in Sri Lanka in March earlier this year. He was subsequently dropped for the second Test.
Despite struggling against Australia, Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes kept their place in the squad, primarily due to a lack of opening options. Mosaddek Hossain remained out of contention as his eye infection hadn’t improved, and will be sent to Bangkok on Monday for further medical attention.