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Bangladesh lose two key players to injury

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/01/2017 Daniel Gilhooly

Mushfiqur Rahim. © MARTY MELVILLE/Getty Images Mushfiqur Rahim. Captain Mushfiqur Rahim and opening batsman Imrul Kayes have been ruled out of the second Test against New Zealand in a massive double-blow for Bangladesh.

The pair, who have played 78 Tests between them, both suffered injuries in the seven-wicket loss in Wellington and will force the tourists to select a vastly less experienced side at Hagley Oval.

Opening batsman Tamim Iqbal assumes the captaincy from Mushfiqur, who has succumbed to a hairline fracture to his thumb.

Iqbal says the blow to the head which Mushfiqur suffered while batting in the second innings at the Basin Reserve was not a factor in his omission.

Kayes pulled a thigh muscle which has seriously restricted his mobility.

Both players are expected to be fit for Bangladesh's next Test, a one-off against India in Hyderabad starting on February 9. The greatest doubt surrounds wicketkeeper Mushfiqur, who has been given a 3-4 week recovery estimation.

Uncapped Nurul Hasan, who has played 11 limited overs internationals, is poised to inherit the 'keeping gloves.

Soumya Sarkar is favoured to be injected into the middle order for his fourth Test, prompting a likely shuffle to the batting order.

Iqbal says the changes shouldn't affect the mood of his team, who set the pace in Wellington before capitulating in the second innings - not helped by the two injuries.

"After playing in New Zealand (for the first time since 2010), to play like this, I'm very proud of the boys, the character they have shown," Iqbal said.

"We made some mistakes, that's why we were in a losing side. We just need to minimise those."

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