Test spot eludes Ashraful

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Mohammad Ashraful

Mohammad Ashraful struck 30 in the second innings before being castled, a return insufficient to earn a Test call © BCB

Mohammad Ashraful has been left out of the Bangladesh squad to face England in the first Test in Chittagong.

Ashraful opted out of the one-day series against the same opponents after a run of poor form, but had stated his intention to force his way into the Test team.

The former captain is considered one of the Tigers’ most gifted batsmen but he has struggled to cope with the weight of expectation in recent times.

He captained Bangladesh A for the three-day warm-up against the tourists, which finishes today, in the hope that a big score would restore his confidence.

But he managed just 31 in two innings, and persuaded the selectors to instead name Junaid Siddique in a 14-man party.

Bangladesh have also included three left-arm spinners - captain Shakib Al Hasan, Abdur Razzak and Enamul Haque Jr - possibly influenced by Kevin Pietersen’s well-documented struggles against such bowlers.

The first Test gets under way in Chittagong on Friday, with the second and final match of the series scheduled to begin in Dhaka on March 20.

Bangladesh squad for first Test: Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Aftab Ahmed, Mahmudullah, Raqibul Hasan, Naeem Islam, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Abdur Razzak, Enamul Haque Jr, Shahadat Hossain.

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