That Mushfiqur Rahim is the most hard-working player in the current Bangladesh line-up is pretty obvious from his day-to-day training schedule. He is generally the first one to show up at practice, spends the most time in the nets and is always on the forefront during an optional training day.
While there are no doubts about his dedication to the game, his performance in the first Test, which saw him drop at least four catches behind the stumps at crucial moments, led many to question if the captain-cum-wicketkeeper had felt the heat of handling multiple responsibilities.
A person who does not mince words, Mushfiqur was pretty direct regarding his performance behind the stumps.
“I don't remember when such a thing happened last. I think this is the first time. After I dropped the first catch (Kaushal Silva) and saw him go on to score runs and then a century, it really felt bad. It felt as though the team would lose because of me, “And I guess being amidst these thoughts led me to miss the other catches. It can happen in the game and unfortunately it happened to me, which is very wrong. I am the captain of the side and if I don't lead the team from the front then they will be morally down,” said Mushfiqur at the post-match press conference yesterday.
As a player Mushfiqur has to carry thrice the burden in the team and while it's too early to talk about the inclusion of a separate keeper in the side, the more important thing for him would be to not let one aspect of his game come in the way of the other.
Minutes before lunch in Bangladesh's second innings Mushfiqur was bowled while going down the track to Dilruwan Perera and attempting to play an expansive drive through cover. It was unlike him and seemed to be a result of the frustration that had built throughout the Test.
Then again, having multiple responsibilities in the side can be a positive as well. A high-flying catch or a brilliant century can always help regain one's confidence. And at this point of time it seems as though that is exactly what he needs.
After the match, Mushfiqur stated that he would think of all the positive moments that the team had spent in the last two years in order to gain confidence ahead of the Test in Chittagong.
For the hosts's sake one would hope that his 'revival strategy' works; after all a gain in confidence for the captain would no doubt be a huge moral booster for the entire team, something they are desperately in search of.