No Mushy behind the stumps? | The Daily Star
08:00 PM, March 01, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:01 PM, March 01, 2017

No Mushy behind the stumps?

Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim may not don the wicket-keeping gloves during the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka. The decision was reportedly taken during a meeting between the team members on Tuesday. 

“Mushfiqur may not keep in the Tests against Sri Lanka. He may bat up the order as well. We spoke to him during a team meeting yesterday and he took the decision quite positively. We spoke to him and we gave him examples of other batsmen, like Kumar Sangakkara, who did extremely well in Test cricket after quitting keeping,” team manager Khaled Mahmud told The Daily Star today. 

“He is our best batsman and we want him to bat up the order. He understands that this decision is for the sake of the team and he took it sportingly,” he added. 

Against New Zealand, he injured his thumb, while scoring a brilliant century in the first innings. However, he couldn’t keep in the rest of the series because of the injury and Bangladesh were forced to employ the likes of Imrul Kayes and Sabbir Rahman, neither of who keep in domestic cricket, to take the gloves. 

Imrul took over Mushfiqur’s gloves and kept for most of the game. However, he got injured in the second innings and in a recent interview he admitted that the long keeping stint could have been a reason behind his injury. 

Prior to Bangladesh’s departure to Sri Lanka, Mushfiqur and the national selectors were repeatedly asked if there would be a new keeper in the Bangladesh team for the Sri Lanka series. Mushfiqur had said that he would want to continue keeping, provided that the team management supports him.

However, it seems as though the team management in Sri Lanka, including head coach Chandika Hathurusingha and Khaled Mahmud, have decided to travel a different path. 

The question that remains now is who will Liton Das, the only other keeper in the squad, replace? If Mushfiqur plays up the order, then he is likely to take up Mahmudullah Riyad’s position at four. Will Riyad be dropped? Or will he go back to his former position and play down the wicket. If he isn’t dropped than Sabbir Rahman might be sacrificed. Either way, Bangladesh will have to take the tough decision of tinkering with their settled batting order. 

At the moment, the axe seems likely to fall on Mahmudullah, who hasn’t been in good form in the longer version recently. 

“We will decide who Liton will replace after the practice match. We still have time for that,” said Mahmud, when asked about the upcoming batting combination. 

Going by Mahmud’s statement, one could presume that Mushfiqur may not keep in the practice match against Sri Lanka cricket Board XI either. The match begins tomorrow. 12 out of the 16 players will be playing tomorrow. 

There is a high chance that Bangladesh’s senior players, the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim may not feature in the warm-up game. 

While Bangladesh couldn’t train on Tuesday due to inclement weather, they had a good session today. 

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