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News

'Mushfiqur Rahim generally comes good when the chips are down,' says Bangladesh batting coach Siddons

Senior batter helped repair a top-order wobble to put the hosts in a strong position in Dhaka against Ireland

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
05-Apr-2023
Mushfiqur Rahim made his 10th Test century  •  AFP/Getty Images

Mushfiqur Rahim made his 10th Test century  •  AFP/Getty Images

Mushfiqur Rahim's penchant for getting hundreds when Bangladesh are in trouble came to the fore again, against Ireland in the Dhaka Test. The home side made 369 but they had to be rescued from 40 for 3 at the start of the second day. The rest of the batters played around Mushfiqur to get them to a competitive total.
Bangladesh are leading by 128 runs after Ireland crashed to 27 for 4 at stumps, but it wouldn't have come together so well without Mushfiqur. He has now scored ten Test centuries, equaling Tamim Iqbal at second place on the all-time list for Bangladesh. This was also his fourth century at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, the most at this venue.
"(Mushfiqur Rahim's century) was amazing," batting coach Jamie Siddons said at the end of play. "We were in a little bit of a trouble with him at the other end. Mushy generally comes good when the chips are down. He sticks in there and makes sure to get the score for us. He got the score going nicely. Again he was aggressive when it was required. When the ball was there, he put it away. He was very disciplined around his defence and his leaving game. We need to have that in Test cricket."
Bangladesh got their runs at a rate of 4.58 per over. They were similarly rapid in the white-ball leg of the tour as well, with Siddons saying that this is all part of a plan. "I think we have been building to that for a while now. Of course, we are playing against Ireland, so we were confident to go aggressively against them. Our challenge was to go big against Ireland. To make sure we got quick runs in the ODIs.
"We can't afford to make 230-250 in the World Cup. We have to make 300-plus. We have to get 200-plus against good teams as well. It is a good time. We batted really well."
Siddons had praise for Shakib Al Hasan, who made 87 off 94 balls, as well but felt that he could have done a little more with the ball that got him out - he tried to sweep a very wide offbreak from Andy McBrine against the angle and the turn and ended up top-edging to the wicketkeeper.
"He scored quickly but he didn't hit the ball in the air a lot," Siddons said. "He was the pick of the batsmen today. He was very disciplined. We lost three early wickets today, but he held up really well. Put a big partnership together to put us in a really good position in the end of the day.
"I guess he kept playing the way he wanted to play. He played the sweep shot quite well throughout the innings. It was probably the wrong shot with that tactic employed. You make one mistake and you get out.
"I don't think it has anything to do with getting towards a hundred. He was only 80-odd. He was a little bit closer in the ODIs. I am sure he'd love to score a hundred but we are happy with his contribution in the team."
Shakib, Mushfiqur and Litton Das scoring quickly also meant that Mehidy Hasan Miraz had time to get a fifty for himself. Siddons enjoyed his innings as well. "I think Mehidy is a batsman now. He has proven that in ODIs and Tests. His fifty today was really well timed. He was aggressive but still working the ones and holding up the end. He protected the bowler at the other end. He is seen as one of our key batters as far his hitting abilities are concerned. He is batting beautifully at No 7. What's happening under him is a little bit thin."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84