Chittagong: Bangladesh Thursday axed veteran batsman Habibul Bashar from their 12-man squad for the second Test against South Africa here, with the hosts needing a win to square the series.
Bashar, 34, paid the price for a slump in form which has seen him go without a substantial score in his past eight Tests.
Rajin Saleh, who did not play in the first Test, which South Africa won by five wickets, replaces Bashar in the squad, which also sees spinner Abdur Razzaq come in for Sajid-ul Islam.
Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons defended the decision to drop the former captain, who is the only player in the side to have played 50 Tests.
"Experience counts for nothing if you can't score your runs. He knows he needs to make runs... to stay in the side," Siddons told reporters.
Siddons also said the side would miss the services of veteran left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique, who will retire after the end of the two-Test series.
Rafique, who impressed in the first Test at Dhaka with some key wickets, said he had no choice but to quit as he was not liked by the powers-that-be on the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
"I was overlooked for Test selection for three years. Now the same people have come back in the board who kept me out. That is why I don't want to continue," the 37-year-old bowler said.
South Africa are yet to decide on their 12 for the game starting tomorrow but skipper Graeme Smith said fit-again speedster Andre Nel could make it into the starting line-up.
Nel missed the first Test with a hamstring injury.
Smith said the tourists had realised after the first Test that they needed to bat with patience on the low and slow wickets.
"Patience is a big key in these conditions. We have talked about how crucial it is to put up a good score in the first innings.
"We could have put ourselves under pressure in the Dhaka game if we had allowed them to score a few more runs in their second innings."
Smith, who will become South Africa's leading Test skipper, surpassing the mark of 53 by the late Hansie Cronje, said the game would be special for him.
"It has been a huge achievement. I am a lot more competitive now. If you (want) to be successful as captain, you need support from the administration and the players and I must admit I have got all the support."
Bangladesh (from): Mohammad Ashraful (captain), Mashrafe Mortaza, Aftab Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan, Shahadat Hossain, Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees, Mohammad Rafique, Mushfiqur Rahim, Junaid Siddique, Rajin Saleh, Abdur Razzak.
South Africa (from): Graeme Smith (captain), Ashwell Prince, Hashim Amla, Johan Botha, Mark Boucher, A.B. de Villiers, JP Duminy, Neil McKenzie, Robin Peterson, Jacques Kallis, Morne Morkel, Andre Nel, Makhaya Ntini, Dale Steyn.
Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Steve Bucknor (WIS)
TV Umpire: Nadir Shah (BAN)
Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)