KHULNA: Bangladesh's bid to level the series in the second Test against the West Indies starting in Khulna from today received a welcome boost when dashing opener Tamim Iqbal was declared fit.
The 23-year-old hurt a tendon in his left elbow during Bangladesh's 77-run defeat in the first Test in Dhaka but passed a fitness test ahead of the match the home team need to win to take a share of the two-Test series. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim stressed that Iqbal, who has four Test centuries to his name, had an important game ahead of him.
"Iqbal batted with that injury in the second innings and after a two day break he is feeling good," Rahim told reporters. "I think we all have an important game. It's not just Tamim," said Rahim of the opener who was passed fit by team physiotherapist Vibhav Singh.
The left-handed opener hit a brisk 72 to bolster Bangladesh to an imposing 556 in reply to the West Indian total of 527-4 declared but managed only five in the second innings when Bangladesh were bowled out for 167, chasing 245 to win. As a precaution, Bangladesh had called up rookie batsman Anamul Haque who impressed during the recent ICC Junior World Cup held in Australia.
Nazimuddin is also likely replace opener Junaid Siddique who failed in the first Test. Rahim said Bangladesh fought well in the first Test, but alluded to the difference in the two sides' bowling attacks.
"I won't say the gap (between the two teams) is too much or too little. Obviously, their attack is more balanced than us. And they are a very good side. I said before the series that it will not be very easy for them to beat us in our home conditions.
"We have this in our mind, our plan was to play well session by session without looking at the result. We played good cricket in five days and lost the game in just one session. Our goal is to maintain that plan." West Indian captain Darren Sammy believed Iqbal's injury was concerning for Bangladesh.
"He's one of the best players, so they'll probably be on the back foot. But it is another opportunity for someone else to play for the country and it should motivate the team to work," said Sammy.
Sammy said his team was determined to win the series. "Most of the guys are little bit relaxed but determined. We are here to do better than what we did in the last game. We have one more Test to go and we'd do everything to win this Test match. We want to win the series 2-0," said Sammy.
Experienced batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul has fully recovered after falling ill during the second innings in which he batted at number eleven, ending any chance of a change in the line-up.