Bangla coach defends Rubel Hossain's exclusion from Test squad

Fatullah: Even after failing to take a single Indian wicket on Day 1 of the one-off Test, Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha yesterday defended the team management's decision of not including pacer Rubel Hossain in the playing XI on the pretext of keeping him fit of the ODIs.

Bangladesh pacer Rubel Hossain
Bangladesh pacer Rubel Hossain 

Electing to bat, India finished the rain-hit day on 239 for no loss with Shikhar Dhawan (150 not out) and Murali Vijay 89 not out) blunting the Bangladesh attack, which consists of four specialist spinners in Shakib Al Hasan, Taijul Islam, Jubair Hossain and Shuvagata Hom. "Rubel's thing is that he is coming after an injury and
is not hundred per cent.

The other reason is that this wicket, we thought that if Rubel has to play and has to bowl a lot then there is a chance of a recurrence of his injury because he didn't get a chance to play practice matches," the coach said at the end of first day's play here. "Not that he is not fit, he is not to fit to bowl on this kind of a wicket because you need a lot of effort to bowl on this kind of a wicket to be successful. If the wicket was helping fast bowlers, we could have gone in a different way."

Hathurusingha insisted that it was better to preserve Rubel for the three-match ODI series rather than playing him on this kind of a pitch. "The reason to pick the spinners is again because of the condition of the wicket. The other thing is having a variety of spinners taking the Indian team's history for last few series. A few off spinners have been successful against them.

"We cannot control the Indian strength, what we can control is what we do with our resources. Rubel, we are keeping him for the One-days. It is very crucial for us to win the ODIs, knowing that if we win at least one game, we have a chance of qualifying for the Champions Trophy. So if the condition was different, we would have played another seamer," Hathurusingha explained.

The Sri Lankan clarified that the team was picked after looking at the wicket. "The plan was to pick the team we thought was good for the wicket and according to our strength. I think we created enough chances, but few things didn't go our way. Had we taken those opportunities, it would have been a different story. "We have made progress in a lot of ways.

At this stage, we are playing with one fast bowler because of the condition, not that we have not progressed. Sometime we were limited in certain ways," said Hathurusingha. Hathurusingha stressed that Bangladesh were still playing to win. "We still want to win. We are still playing to win, that's what I can tell you. I don't see anything different in the body language. Only thing is the scoreboard says 230 (239) for no loss. But in cricket anything can happen.

Until both sides finish at least one innings I can't come to conclusion whether we have done the right thing or not. I didn't see anything wrong with the body language," said the coach. Stating it was a good toss to win, Hathurusingha said: "On a pitch like this, it is always a big advantage to win the toss and bat. And they (India) have capitalised on that and put up a good total. They batted well.

Obviously, we created enough chances but we didn't take it." Hathurusingha said the key would be to bowl well today. "Jubair is bowling well. I think he has created enough chances. This is actually the best bowling attack at this stage for us on this kind of a wicket. To be honest, this is probably the most flattest wicket I have seen so far close to the one we played in Khulna, which was similar.

At least there was a little more help for the bowlers, but you never know this could be a different wicket at the end of day five. "Bowl in good areas tomorrow and get wickets. I still think we can win the game provided that we bowl well tomorrow," he concluded.

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