Mashrafe, Mushfiqur add to Bangladesh’s injury worries

Publish: 3:51 PM, October 4, 2018 | Update: 3:51:PM, October 4, 2018

Sports Desk: Mashrafe Mortaza and Mushfiqur Rahim, who had injuries during the Asia Cup, are expected to recover in the next two weeks to add experience to Bangladesh’s squad for the ODIs against Zimbabwe from October 21, reports Cricinfo.
With the selectors likely to name a preliminary squad by next week, the injuries to Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal have already left a gaping hole in the batting line-up. Bangladesh are scheduled to start a training camp in Dhaka from October 15.
According to BCB’s chief physician Debashish Chowdhury, Mashrafe will need two more weeks to recover fully from his finger injury, which he sustained during the Asia Cup match against Pakistan on September 26.
“The injury on his little finger is quite serious,” Chowdhury said. “It takes about three weeks to recover. We are hoping that Mashrafe can come back from that injury within two weeks. He was struck by a ball directly. We will have a further scan tomorrow to ascertain how much of a blood clot there is. Once we know about it, we will go for our next course of action.
“Mashrafe is not too bothered about the injury though. He said he has already played two matches with it, and his bowling isn’t affected by the injury. The finger comes to use for his batting, of course.”
Chowdhury said Mushfiqur, who injured his rib during the pre-Asia Cup training camp in Dhaka, has been rested for a week. “[Mushfiqur] has a cracked rib which usually takes four to six weeks to heal. Ribs usually take time as it is constantly moving. There’s no rest. We have asked Mushfiqur to rest for a week after which we will determine the next course of action.”
If their recoveries don’t go to plan, Bangladesh might find it difficult to replace Mushfiqur in the middle order and Mashrafe as captain.
The opening partnership was an issue for Bangladesh in the Asia Cup. Mehidy Hasan, who had a 120-run opening stand with Liton Das in the final, was last-gasp measure after Nazmul Hossain Shanto and Soumya Sarkar failed throughout the tournament.
Even if the team management is looking to continue with Mehidy as opener in the Zimbabwe series, they would still want back-up. Despite scoring only 20 runs in three Asia Cup matches, Shanto remains the long-term option. Soumya could, for the fourth time this year, sneak into the squad despite a number of failures, as he has always been preferred either by the team management or by the BCB officials.
Imrul Kayes could also be in contention for his experience, though he made only one fifty in three Asia Cup matches. Mominul Haque, Mosaddek Hossain and Ariful Haque will be competing for middle-order slots. Mominul and Mosaddek struggled in the Asia Cup while Ariful, who didn’t get a game, recently struck a maiden double-hundred in the first-class competition’s opening round.
Mohammad Mithun made two vital fifties in the Asia Cup and would be crucial in the middle order, along with Mahmudullah. However, Tushar Imran, who scored twin hundreds in the opening first-class match of the season, might have to wait till early November as he may be considered for the Test series against Zimbabwe.
Mustafizur Rahman and Rubel Hossain are likely to partner Mashrafe – if he is fit – in the pace attack, while Abu Hider is likely to continue as their understudy. Bangladesh could pick an extra pace bowler as cover for Mashrafe.
Left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam could be leading the race to replace Shakib.