Mushfiqur Rahim has given his full backing to Tamim Iqbal after the Bangladesh opener completed a wretched World T20 campaign with another early dismissal, this time against Australia. Mushfiqur also said he wasn't yet sure why the team was failing, and that he would examine the causes.
Tamim has scored just 83 runs in seven innings, with a highest score of 30 against Nepal, and an average that is slightly under 12. He was one of five Bangladesh players to have played all seven games in the tournament, and among just three to have the chance to bat in every innings.
Tamim has been dismissed caught four times during this tournament, twice at mid-off, once at short third-man and once at slip. He was trapped leg-before once, and was out bowled thrice. It has now been 13 innings since he has scored a fifty in an international match. But it is still way short of his worst phase, which was a 26-innings fifty-less run between October 9, 2008 and July 9, 2009.
"I don't think it is yet time to see him as a burden," Mushfiqur said. "The Super 10 matches were back to back, so probably he also needed more time to regroup. I don't think he has reached a stage where he has to be dropped. I think now that it is over, we will try to see where his problems lie - whether it is mental or skillwise - and we should try to overcome them.
"He is a very important player for us and I don't think it is a solution to drop someone if he has played badly for five-six matches. I think we have many good players, but I don't think we have someone like Tamim. We have to try and see to it that he can regroup and return to his old form and play consistently. Anamul is now playing consistently well so if Tamim can play like his old self our top order problem will be solved at least."
Looking back at the tournament itself, Mushfiqur said that the team was derailed by the loss to Hong Kong, after which they had to face four major T20 teams
"After Hong Kong we were not playing against Nepal but against India, Pakistan or West Indies. So that was a big shock for us. I think we really recovered well but there were a couple of guys who didn't perform well and that didn't help us.
"If four or five guys are out of form it is difficult to play well as a team and to play 40 overs of competitive cricket and that also cost us in planning and application. So we have to look after those areas and come back for our country and hopefully we will do that."
Mushfiqur felt that the combined loss of form hurt the team the most, as Bangladesh has often thrived on a number of players doing well together.
"There were times in the past when myself, Shakib [Al Hasan] and Tamim were not there but still Bangladesh won. At that time there were four or five other players who performed consistently: Mashrafe, Riyad bhai, Nasir, Anamul, Sohag Gazi.
"Now we are all here but you have to play on the field, names don't matter. If Tamim, Shakib, myself, Riyad Bhai, Gazi, Nasir, Mashrafe, if all of us could play to our potential then I think the results would have been different."