Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2016-17 March 2, 2017

Mushfiqur asked to give up wicketkeeping

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Isam: Liton's gain, Sabbir's loss

Bangladesh's manager Khaled Mahmud has said that Mushfiqur Rahim has been informed he will play the upcoming Tests against Sri Lanka as a specialist batsman, and has to give up his position as the designated wicketkeeper. This means Liton Das, the other specialist wicketkeeper in the Test squad, will take over the role.

Mushfiqur's wicketkeeping came under focus after he missed plenty of chances during the Afghanistan series last year. In Bangladesh's last Test, against India in Hyderabad last month, his missed stumping of Wriddhiman Saha cost the team and highlighted his frailties behind the stumps. During the interim, the BCB had said that the matter will be discussed with Mushfiqur, which is what the team management has done ahead of the Test series in Sri Lanka.

"The coach [Chandika Hathurusingha] and I have informed Mushfiqur officially [that he will play only as a batsman]," Mahmud told the Bengali daily Prothom Alo. "He is the best batsman in the team. He is in such form that we believe he will be able to give more to the team, which is why he will bat at No. 4 and will not be keeping wickets. Mushfiqur has taken the decision positively, which is the best part.

"We gave him examples of Kumar Sangakkara and Brendan Taylor whose batting improved as soon as they gave up wicketkeeping in Tests. It is hard to play as wicketkeeper, captain and batsman."

Liton kept wickets in the three Tests he played in 2015, against India and South Africa. The last time Mushfiqur was told to play as a batsman was during the 2016 Asia Cup T20s when he shared the duty with Nurul Hasan during the tournament at home.

With Mushfiqur now slated to bat at No. 4 and Liton being confirmed a place in the XI, the team management will now have to decide between Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman in the middle order. While Mahmudullah has just struck his first Test fifty after a long gap, Sabbir hasn't got a big Test score despite a promising start to his career.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SHEREHIND on March 6, 2017, 14:10 GMT

    The trouble I see with BD is that their ist XI keeps on changing from tests to tests, they never have a settled XI playing the whole tour. Must be a hanging nook around every player.

  • cricfan37328733 on March 6, 2017, 10:47 GMT

    Another double century by tushar imran....In pitches of sl which I think is not different than ban. ...This guy could have given solidity in middle order. ...team like Bangladesh should utilize every resources think about present. ....no one has seen future. ...present decide future. ...worrying too much leads nowhere. ..selection of test on current form will only help Bangladesh....must be very difficult for tushar imran scoring 1000+ runs in last 10 games and hardly getting any hope to revive his career. ..

  • GoodMood48 on March 6, 2017, 9:06 GMT

    cricfan37328733 Agree with you as well. The person who is in the best form and proven his "current" worth in FC cricket VS a future prospect of a bright young somewhat proven talent . Who will better serve, who will matter most right now? Who will give you the best result right now to serve BD's best interest? What would you rather have? Is Tushar a better option than Sabbir (has he proven "yet" to have the right mindset to contribute in a test situation) to play in the test format at this very moment? I think you raise a very good point there.

  • cricfan8371526860 on March 6, 2017, 6:39 GMT

    tamim should open with imrul kayes he is better averaged player as opener and for for one down your have to give a chance to thushar Imran the guy badly need a comeback as an all-rounder I prefer farhad hossain. srilanka should give a debut to shehan jayasuriya

  • ajithabey on March 6, 2017, 3:58 GMT

    Hope 4 spinners including Herath will play for SL in the batsmen's graveyard at Galle.Good to see that Chandimal is back in form with a superb 190 in the practice game with B'desh.

  • cricfan37328733 on March 5, 2017, 13:36 GMT

    I checked Bangladesh first class games and found about tushar imran who has scored 5 centuries and 3 fifties in his last 6-7 games. ...He has most first class centuries with good avg as well. ...why he is not considered in test. ..He might not be for future but Bangladesh just cannot worry about future becoz they don't have luxury of playing lots of test matches....He could contribute for few years becoz he seems mature player with ability to bat long. ...33 is not too old for test. ...and his heavy scoring shows he has fitness...All other test team give preference to domestic but Bangladesh only worry about future and give chance to teenagers even though there are some regular performer.....last time I mentioned that domestic performance should be criteria for selection. ....and player dropped should be considered again if they perform in domestic. .....imran got chance early he couldn't perform BT he could be player that can make batting strong. ....His performance show ability

  • Sid-LDN on March 5, 2017, 13:11 GMT

    Soumya isn't a test player. It also seems he doesn't have the right temperament for this. Rather than Bd management forcing odi and t20 players to be test players, the players should show the passion for test and force the Bd management to include them in test by scoring heavily in fc and occupying the crease with the right temperament. And only the players shows that in fc such as Mosaddek, Shanto and so on should be given chance in the test team.

  • Emon_Das on March 5, 2017, 8:34 GMT

    Tamim, Soumya, Mominul, Mushfiq, Shakib, Riad, Liton, Miraz, Rubel, Taskin, Fizz

  • cricfan87266267 on March 5, 2017, 7:15 GMT

    cricfan9721770951 on March 4 : Hey mate score is what matters in the end . And mind you in that match there was no proper SL bowler yet you guys lost 7 wkts . anyway good luck for BAN . Hope they will give a decent fight

  • cricfan37328733 on March 5, 2017, 7:07 GMT

    Soumya sarkar is Bangladesh biggest match winner. ....india, sa and 1 match against pak and Asia cup game against pak he won for Bangladesh. ......He still avg 40 in odis with 100+ strike rate that's as good as any opener and he in form looks very elegant and comfortable against both spin and pace......don't want him to be dropped. ....player like him should be handled carefully. ...and fans should support In bad times. ....don't want to see kayes in his place in odis. ...He is far superior player than kayes. ....

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