India v Bangladesh, only Test, Hyderabad, 5th day February 14, 2017

I'm happy with all my roles - Mushfiqur Rahim

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Mushfiqur Rahim has said this three-pronged role in Bangladesh's Test team is not a concern for him

Mushfiqur Rahim has said that his role as Bangladesh's Test captain is open for "analysis" by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) but he is happy to continue in the triple role of wicketkeeper, batsman and captain. While there was always the odd question about his captaincy since he abruptly quit the ODI post in 2013, the criticism has increased since 2015 and it flowed into the Hyderabad Test, where his wicketkeeping also came under the scanner.

After his proficient 127 in the first innings that kept Bangladesh in the game, it has become evident that his role as a dependable middle-order batsman is gaining importance.

Mushfiqur, however, has said that since the BCB has entrusted him with the three roles since 2011, he will happily oblige as long as they decide otherwise.

"My average is not more than 33 or 34, so how can I be the No. 1 batsman of Bangladesh? If you are entrusted with two or three roles, that means the management has shown faith in you," he said. "So I need to deliver in all three departments. If I am not doing well, it's up to the board to take a call on my future.

"At the moment, I am enjoying what I am doing - I love to spend time in the middle and the way you can do your job is to spend time in the middle rather than in the dressing room. There are people who are sitting outside [BCB officials] who can take a decision but as far as I am concerned, I am happy to do all three. Captaincy is not in my hands. The board can analyse and take a call."

During India's first innings, Mushfiqur made some errors as a wicketkeeper and captain, chiefly the missed stumping of Wriddhiman Saha when he was on 4. He also used Shakib Al Hasan for only 24 of the 166 overs. Although Shakib was expensive, he was used at times when Bangladesh were looking for wickets, so his high economy rate was justifiable at the time. According to Mushfiqur, they wanted Shakib to bowl high-impact spells rather than the long ones, which became the job of the two young spinners.

Mushfiqur had given Wriddhiman Saha a reprieve in the first innings © AFP

"Our spinners led the bowling attack. The team management and I felt that Taijul Islam and Mehedi [Hasan] Miraz did their job properly, so we kept faith in them. It depends on who is bowling well on the particular day. I thought Taijul and Miraz were bowling well in partnership.

"We want Shakib to bowl as much as it is useful to the team. He is not in a position to bowl a long spell. We want him to provide us a breakthrough. The rest of the work is for the other bowlers. We are happy with Shakib's bowling. I thought he bowled well in the second innings."

It was surprising to hear of this new role for Shakib, who is the most experienced bowler in the line-up and someone with a proven capability of stemming the run-flow. Taijul and Mehedi ended up bowling 89 overs in which they took five wickets at an economy of 3.6 per over.

Mushfiqur said that India should have been restricted to 550 in the first innings to give Bangladesh less batting time against their spinners in the second innings, pointing out that the bowling unit and top order in particular had to quickly make amends.

"If we could have restricted them to 550 at least, they would have had to bat another session which means we would have batted three sessions instead of four in the second innings," he said. "In that area, we gave 170 runs more. Also while batting, if someone from the top four could have gone big, we could have got closer. That first innings was crucial.

"We need to execute our plans as a bowling unit. I hope the bowlers learn quickly. In the end, you need to take wickets to put pressure on other teams."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mushtanda on February 17, 2017, 7:37 GMT

    @MHBUB4149- It's such delusional behavior by BD fans like you and your team alike that keeps BD team from improving.

  • Black_Prince on February 15, 2017, 16:14 GMT

    @CRICFAN12327355, Mushfiq lost his quality of keeping long time ago. He has been dropping catches and missing stumping for ever. I like the make up of Nurul Hassn, very good behind the stumps and has the potential to be a decent batsman. I am not a fan of batsman who keeps a little to take on full time keeping. Keeper is probably the most important position in the fielding team other than the bowler. You don't want a mediocre keeper if you want to win games. I think Shakib is ready for second stint in captaincy. He has now been around for awhile in international cricket with tons of experience all around the world and with all his flares intact. Although most likely BCB will go with Tamim if they end up switching test captaincy.

  • mahbub4149 on February 15, 2017, 9:30 GMT

    @MUSHTANDA: U can consider ur luck for bad fielding by BD side. Otherwise INDIA couldn't be able to a achieve 400+. That would be another history for cricket. Bad luck, in fact bad fielding by BD promoted IND to a big score.

  •   cricfan56034574 on February 15, 2017, 7:54 GMT

    Mushfiq should give up wicket keeping job

  • Baundele on February 15, 2017, 7:03 GMT

    Mushfiq's batting average during the past 2 years is 40. I think, his wicket keeping has costed more runs per innings. For example, in this India test his 2 misses have contributed to 174 extra runs. He should reconsider his stance for the sake of the team.

  • Mushtanda on February 15, 2017, 5:01 GMT

    @Surfarazerin, who said, "match concluded on the 5th day with around 20 overs to spare" You seem to forget that India using up 29 overs on the 4th day is also the reason for the match going into the 3rd session of last day. In the end BD, batting twice, still couldn't haul the runs that the first 6 batsmen of India scored in the first innings.

  • Mushtanda on February 15, 2017, 4:54 GMT

    @Black_Prince- You talk about a player's potential when they are new and not when they have been around for more than a decade. If after a decade of playing cricket your average has remained 34, then you are indeed an average player.

  • i_amVIVA on February 15, 2017, 2:38 GMT

    Let's separate the three acts for Mushi. Ban boys, and the nation for the matter are not very good at multi-tasking. I can attest to this fact with my own limitations in this respect, even being in the US for years now than my time in Ban. BCB should look out to the future and groom youngsters for captaincy; encourage youngsters for the task putting few of them in the VC position time to time, look at how other nations do this kind of stuff successfully. Mushi is a good bats man, not a good WC, and recently a losing captain. We should look for new blood for captain - Shak or Tam probably, even Shab can come in, plus employ a new WC from young blood.

  • CricketChat on February 15, 2017, 1:22 GMT

    Time to replace Mushfiqur as skipper, but not with Tamim.

  • hussyy on February 14, 2017, 22:41 GMT

    Nope not happy with all his roles, as a batsman he's one of the best in bds batting line up, as a wicket keeper he's ordinary and as a captain he's not the right person. I would rather prefer someone else as captain than him! Bd needs a quality wicket keeper and a really quality kind captain that is well-spoken, smart, big personality, attaking mindset rather than defensive and s highest performer like dhoni or koli

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