"I don't know who spread it because why won't I like to play Test cricket? Cricket gives me my bread and butter and I sustain myself and my family by playing cricket" - Rubel: Photo:Getty Images
Bangladesh pacer Rubel Hossain, on Wednesday (December 4), brushed aside allegations of not wanting to play Test cricket. His response comes at the back of reports that he had expressed his intention of not wanting to be considered in the long form to the team management.
"It's a total lie," he said. "I don't know who spread it because why won't I like to play Test cricket? Cricket gives me my bread and butter and I sustain myself and my family by playing cricket. So there is no way I can cheat with it. I never said that I don't want to play Test cricket. It is not that I don't want to bowl long spells because if that was the case then I would not have played BCL [franchise-based first-class tournament] and could easily avoid that."
It has been a tough time for the Bangladeshi pacers in recent times as they have found it difficult to break into the Test side, with a spin-dominated attack preferred in home conditions. Usually, Bangladesh have employed only a solitary pacer for home Tests, and at best, two. However, in their last game, there were none.
Defending the decision, Rubel explained: "For quite some time spinners are dictating terms in Tests for us while the pace bowlers are not able to do well. The situation in the second Test was such that the wicket was prepared for the spinners. Naturally, it is disappointing when the spinners are doing well and the pace bowlers cannot play."
However, in saying so, he added that the pacers will have a bigger role to play in the one-day series. Apart from Rubel, skipper Mashrafe Mortaza also is added to the side. The duo, along with Mustafizur Rahman, is expected to lead Bangladesh's pace attack. He believes Bangladesh's pace battery has it in them to win the upcoming one-day series against Windies.
"We [pace bowlers] have the ability to win the ODIs," the pacer said. "We have done that in the past. The wicket won't behave like the way it did in the Tests and we have the pace unit that can win matches in these conditions."
Speaking of his own bowling, Rubel, who has been used as Bangladesh's death over specialist alongside Mustafizur, believes he still has work to do to improve upon on his skills. "I am playing international cricket for the last nine years, so naturally I have gained some experience but still I have a lot to prepare [in order] to bowl in the death overs.
"It is such a situation that can either win or lose you a match. Naturally, you need to have more focus and I am working to be a better-equipped bowler in the death."
He feels the team is well prepared and have analysed the opposition for the series. "All their players like to play strokes and that is going to be our main challenge," he concluded.