Al-Amin Hossain, meanwhile, made a comeback after nearly a year. He last played an ODI last November, and though he was picked in the World Cup squad this year, he was sent home midway through the tournament for breaking a team curfew.
Rabbi has been developing into a steady performer in domestic cricket for the last seven years. Besides becoming the captain of the Barisal Division’s first-class team last season, he has also been a regular with the Bangladesh A team, and bowled well for Victoria Sporting Club in the List A Dhaka Premier League last season, taking 15 wickets at an average of 25.33 from 11 matches.
During the recent short tour of South Africa with the A team, both Al-Amin and Rabbi were the standout performers. Al-Amin claimed figures of 5 for 45 against Northerns while Rabbi took four wickets against Gauteng.
There was, however, no place for Anamul Haque and Rubel Hossain, who were part of Bangladesh’s last ODI squad, against South Africa in July. Anamul had not played a game during that series but he was in the 18-man preliminary squad that was announced in late October, while Rubel has not recovered from his calf muscle injury suffered during Bangladesh A’s tour to India in September.
Squad for the first two ODIs: Mashrafe Mortaza(capt), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Nasir Hossain, Arafat Sunny, Jubair Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Al-Amin Hossain, Kamrul Islam Rabbi