Bangladesh will miss ailing Imran, says Bashar
May 17, 2007 - 3:31:36 PM

Chittagong, May 17 - Bangladesh will miss batsman Tushar Imran, who is down with high fever, while captain Habibul Bashar himself is not in the pink of health as the hosts take on India in the first of the two Tests here from Friday.

Bashar, who has caught a cold, is hoping to overcome the setback and get on with the game.

'I feel a lot better today. That is why I am hopeful of making it to the final XI tomorrow. But Tushar's condition is not so good. He is suffering from fever and is definitely out of the first Test,' Bashar told reporters at the Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium.

In the just concluded One-day International series, just before the washed out third ODI, as many as four Bangladeshi players, including batting mainstay Mohammad Ashraful, were on the sick list. Their illness raised serious concerns of getting together the XI though India already won the series 2-0.

'Everybody has recovered except Tushar. But I must admit that it is going to be very difficult to adjust in these conditions. At the same time, it is true that sometimes you can play the match without being 100 percent fit. For that you have to have a strong mentality,' said Bashar.

It will be Bangladesh's first Test after 13 months and Bashar pointed out the anomaly. Their previous match was at this venue in April last year.

'It would have been very nice if we could play some Tests during this period. But we played a lot of ODIs in the last one year. Some new boys came into the side and we started to perform as a team during this time,' he said.

'It is not going to be easy to play the Test cricket after a long time. But the boys are keen to play Test cricket and as a team we are prepared to take the challenge.'

Bashar acknowledged that India are a better Test side than his team.

'So, definitely they have the edge. But when the game starts both teams start from zero. I think it is important for us to start the match in a good way. That will set the tone,' he said.

'Sachin [Tendulkar] and Sourav [Ganguly] have been playing for India for a long time. They became much stronger after these two players joined the Test squad. We will try to get their wickets as quickly as possible.'

Bashar said that besides Imran, Syed Rasel has been omitted from the 24-member squad for the match.

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