Matches (16)
T20 World Cup (4)
IND v SA [W] (1)
WI Academy in IRE (1)
CE Cup (4)
T20 Blast (6)

Mushfiqur Rahim looks back at seven of his most important innings for Bangladesh

From his debut at Lord's to the double-hundred in Galle, and other match-winning knocks in between

Mushfiqur Rahim gives the charge during his match-winning 56, Bangladesh v India, Group B, Trinidad, March 17, 2007

Mushfiqur Rahim on his way to an unbeaten 56, batting at No. 3, during Bangladesh's win over India at the 2007 World Cup  •  Prakash Singh/AFP/Getty Images

Fifteen years since he made his debut as a teenager at Lord's, Mushfiqur Rahim is Bangladesh's leading run scorer in Tests, and has come to be regarded as one of the leading all-format wicketkeeper-batsmen in the world. In this interview, he lists seven innings, across formats, that have defined his career.
His Test debut, against England, Lord's, 2005
Rahim played his first Test at the age of 17 during a difficult period for Bangladesh cricket. Performers were so hard to come by that they drafted in a teenager who had been picked as a back-up keeper.
I was taken by surprise when, during an Under-19 tour of Australia [in 2005], I was told I had got a call-up to the Bangladesh Test team. I came back early to join the senior team, and it was all like a dream. I was going to play alongside people I had seen on TV or from afar when I used to do age-group camps at BKSP [Bangladesh's national sports institute]. I was under the impression that I would be playing a couple of the practice games to give Pilot bhai [Khaled Mashud] some rest and that he would play both Tests in England. I made a fifty against Sussex and an unbeaten 115 against Northamptonshire. I had some idea about the conditions there as I had toured England the previous year under coach Richard McInnes.
I got a little nervous with the prospect of playing against the likes of Steve Harmison, Matthew Hoggard and Andrew Flintoff. I doubted whether I was capable to play against them, but I got a lot of encouragement from coaches, senior players and family members. My father said that whether I am playing at Altafunnessa, a small ground in my home town of Bogura, or at Lord's, the pitch is going to remain 22 yards.
I didn't see many fielders in front of me during that innings. Other than Graham Thorpe at silly mid-off, and maybe Michael Vaughan at wide extra cover, everyone was behind me. There were slips, a leg slip and a gully. I heard them telling me, "There's no one to help you here."
I actually enjoyed my debut. If you look at my innings, I remember I was one of only three batsmen to reach double figures. I didn't make a lot of runs [19 and 3], but batting for so long against such a quality attack gave me some satisfaction and the realisation that to play at this level, I need to work really hard to prepare myself.
Against India in the 2007 World Cup, Port-of-Spain
The selectors picked Rahim in the World Cup squad over the highly experienced Mashud, who was also a fan favourite. In Bangladesh's opening game, Mushfiqur made a match-winning unbeaten 56 and ended all talk about Mashud's omission.
There was a lot of pressure on me [before this innings]. Replacing Pilot bhai, someone who has served the Bangladesh team for a long time, was a big challenge. I thought I could get a chance if someone got injured, but I never expected to be the first choice. Until a dinner party attended by all the teams, where I saw greats like Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar, I hadn't quite grasped what a World Cup was like.
During the innings break against India, I learned I was going bat at No. 3. I had very little time to think about it. It was India's first match and they thought they would get some batting practice before their big games. It was a tacky wicket. Tamim [Iqbal] gave us a good start while I was settling in. Then I had a great partnership with Shakib [Al Hasan]. It made me quite relaxed to bat with two of my U-19 team-mates on the biggest stage.
When I hit the winning runs, I couldn't believe what was happening. I must thank [Mohammad] Ashraful bhai for giving me the chance to hit the winning runs. He could have done it against Zaheer Khan in the previous over. It took a while to sink in, but when we started to receive all the congratulatory messages, I understood we had done something big for the country.
101 v Zimbabwe, Harare, 2011
Bangladesh were 0-2 down going into the third ODI. Rahim had established himself as a middle-order batsman after the World Cup that year, and with very little support, he took his team as deep as possible in the 251-run chase.
It is one of my special knocks. I don't talk about it much because ultimately my team didn't win, but I learned a lot about myself during this innings. It was getting dark in the latter half of the innings, but there were no floodlights. I told the umpire that it was difficult to sight the ball, but the moment I hit a couple of boundaries, I think it was Kumar [Dharmasena] who said, "You are hitting fours and sixes. What do you mean you can't see the ball?"
There weren't a lot of partnerships in that chase. I think Nasir [Hossain] got out at a crucial moment, which was a setback. But it was great that I could dig in and almost take the team home. I also learned how to farm the strike with tailenders.
First match as Bangladesh captain: v West Indies, Mirpur, 2011
Rahim faced another last-over drama few months after the Zimbabwe game, but this time he was leading - in front of a full house in Mirpur.
I don't have a lot of big innings in T20Is, so this is among my best knocks. It was my first match as captain, against an in-form West Indies side. We were at an early stage of the T20 format and needed 27 off the last three overs. I knew we had a chance if I could drag it into the last over. I was the last recognised batsman, so I made sure I faced the most balls. [With two balls remaining], I told Raj bhai [Abdur Razzak] that I must retain the strike even if he was run out taking two. I stayed calm against Ravi Rampaul, who tried a yorker that became a length ball, giving me the perfect space to play one of my favourite shots [a six to the deep-midwicket boundary].
A Test double-hundred v Sri Lanka, Galle, 2013
Rahim was having a great 2012-13 season, having led Bangladesh to a 3-2 ODI series win over West Indies and having finished as the BPL's top scorer. It got better when he helped Bangladesh to their first draw against Sri Lanka with an innings that set a new benchmark for his team.
I think it has been my No. 1 innings so far. The build-up to this Test gave me a lot of confidence. I was the highest run getter in the BPL earlier in the season and I took my good form to Sri Lanka, where I started the tour with a half-century in the practice game. We were lucky it wasn't a typical Galle wicket; it was a batting-friendly wicket. Even Angelo Mathews said how unbelievable it was to have such a surface.
It was quite hard to keep wicket for 135 overs and then go out to bat. But I was determined after seeing Kumar Sangakkara's Test record against Bangladesh. I was carrying the determination with me that it would be my happiest day if I could take an opportunity against Sri Lanka. Ashraful bhai blunted the attack at the start. I told him at dinner on the third day that without tension and pressure, he will first reach his double-hundred and then it will be my turn. Then he will reach 250, 300, and so on. Kono chhara chhari nai. [We will not let go.] We'll bat as long as possible.
Ashraful bhai, unfortunately, couldn't get the double, but by the grace of Allah, I could reach the milestone. I think it was a special innings for Bangladesh cricket as it gave us the realisation that even a Bangladeshi can make such a big score.
The World T20 defeat v India, Bengaluru, 2016
Rahim got Bangladesh to within two runs of beating India in India for the first time, but then things went awry.
I knew you would bring this one up (laughs). See, it was a huge lesson for me. It was huge for us to get into a winning position against India in their backyard. We had never beaten them in any format in India. I was batting out of position [at No. 8], which was a big challenge for me. I am usually calm inside even when I show excitement. Perhaps I couldn't be like that during this innings. Man is mortal. I agree that the team lost because of me, but what I felt worse about was seeing Riyad bhai [Mahmudullah] or Shuvagata Hom unable to quickly adapt to the situation. If we could have won in that situation, I would have obviously felt great. I will always have this regret.
This was a World T20 game, so we missed a big opportunity, and you can't really compare it with other matches. But beating India last year [in the Delhi T20I], and having played the match-winning innings in it, was quite special for me. The Hyderabad Test century [2017] has its place too. We were playing our first Test in India and they had five top bowlers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. It gave me immense confidence.
159 v New Zealand, Wellington, 2016-17
Rahim and Shakib added a record 359-run stand to take Bangladesh to 595 for 8 declared at the Basin Reserve. Rahim injured his right hand during the innings and then received a blow to his head when he came out to bat in the second innings.
This is my second-best innings. I had torn my hamstring during the first ODI of the tour, so I had to do rehab for two and a half weeks. It's tough sitting out when everyone else on the tour is playing, especially abroad. I had to sit through a couple of matches which I felt could have won had I been playing. We never win in New Zealand, so getting close and sitting out was really disappointing.
Coming to Wellington, it had one of the toughest conditions - wicket, wind and bowling attack. The way Tamim and Mominul [Haque] handled their bowling gave me a lot of a confidence. I knew I could achieve something if I applied myself like they had. Shakib made a double-hundred and joined me for a big partnership.
In the second innings, I had an injured finger, so they knew where to bowl to me. Neil Wagner was bowling short all the time, but that is also his natural bowling style. Imrul Kayes kept wicket in my place for a long time in the New Zealand innings and then got injured himself. I tried to play for as long as possible, but when I got hit in the head, I couldn't continue. In a game that had so many individual achievements, I felt bad that we couldn't produce a win.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84