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Example: Bangladesh’s fighting cricket team is battling injuries ahead of the formidable challenge of hosting Pakistan for a two-Test series starting on Friday in Chittagong.

Star players Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal are out of the game, adding to a lack of confidence in the camp after losing eight 20-20 internationals in a row, meaning Pakistan will start as overwhelming favorites.

The guests completed a clean sheet 3-0 in the previous Twenty20 series, but will be without the leading spinner Yasir Shah, who has been caring for a thumb injury since September.

The leg-spinner has been a major bowler for Pakistan since 2014 and has taken 235 wickets in 46 tests.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam and Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque at the throw. Image courtesy: Twitter @TheRealPCB

All-rounder Shakib suffered a hamstring injury against the West Indies in Sharjah last month, which ended his T20 World Cup, but he had been included in the Test squad in the hope that he would regain his fitness.

But Bangladesh chief executive Minhajul Abedin said on Tuesday: “Shakib has not recovered from his injury yet. He needs further rehabilitation. Our physiotherapist is constantly taking care of him.”

Tamim was left out of the test squad as he recovers from a finger injury and is unlikely to resume training before next month, a Bangladesh Cricket Board official said.

Minhajul was convinced that Bangladesh would be able to remedy Shakib’s absence.

“We have opportunities in the spin department as well as in pace. The team for the first Test consists of cricketers who have played together regularly and they know the demand for test matches,” he said.

“Pakistan is a formidable team, but we are convinced that Bangladesh will be competitive if we are disciplined and patient.”

Pakistan will replace Yasir with 36-year-old Bilal Asif, who played the latest of his five Tests in 2018.

“We have experienced players for the test matches, we just want to continue the momentum,” said Pakistan captain Babar Azam after sweeping Bangladesh in the T20 series.

Pakistan has played 10 Tests against Bangladesh and won nine.

Bangladesh’s only draw came in 2015, when Tamim scored a first Test double hundred in a record-breaking opening of 312 races with Imrul Kayes in the second round in Khulna.

The second test starts in Dhaka on December 4th.

Bangladesh squad: Mominul Haque (Captain), Shadman Islam, Saif Hasan, Najmul Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taijul Islam, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Abu Jayed Chowdhury, Yasir Ali Hash, Mah , Shakib Al Hasan.

Pakistan team: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Bilal Asif, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali , Sajid Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Zahid Mahmood.

With input from AFP

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