Bangladesh sweat over Tamim fitness ahead of Afghanistan Test

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  • Post published:June 13, 2023

Before deciding if Tamim Iqbal is ready to play in the one-off Test against Afghanistan in Dhaka on Wednesday, Bangladesh will watch how he does in practice.

The star all-rounder and captain of the home team, Shakib Al Hasan, has been out with a finger injury, and it’s not clear if pace bowler Taskin Ahmed will play.

Tamim is one of Bangladesh’s most experienced players, and his average with the bat is 38.89. Whether or not he can play will depend on how his back feels 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 can’t play, Zakir Hasan and Mahmudul Hasan could bat first for Bangladesh if he doesn’t make it.

Hathurusingha also wouldn’t promise that Taskin would play, even though he had recovered from a side injury that kept him out of Bangladesh’s last Test, a win over Ireland by seven wickets in April.

With the Asia Cup and the World Cup for one-day matches coming up, the team is worried about how much Taskin will have to do.

He is one of the few players who always starts for Bangladesh in all three formats when he is healthy.

“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.”

At Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, the one-off Test against Afghanistan will take place on a green track similar to 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.

Only one Test has been played between these two teams. In 2019, in Chittagong, Afghanistan beat their hosts by 224 runs.

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