• Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Time to face the keeping question

Sports Reporter from Chittagong

With Sri Lanka poised on 315 for five after Day One, the hosts were expected to go for the final charge on the second day and look to restrict the visitors to as low a total as possible. However, the news of skipper and wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim's injury in the morning in many ways changed the dynamics of the game.
His replacement Shamsur Rahman seemed to be a bit out of touch. He missed a stumping, gave away byes and looked as though his main aim was to stop the ball rather than collect it keenly.
The skipper's injury also seemed to have had an affect on the team's strategy. Strange tactics such as positioning nine fielders on the boundary rope for the last ball of the over even as Kumar Sangakkara was desperately looking for a single to farm the strike and shield the tail, left many awestruck.
Having an all-rounder like Mushfiqur in the side is no doubt a blessing for Bangladesh. They can always take in an extra batsman because of Mushfiqur's versatility. However, the problem arises on days like these and as unfortunate and rare as this incident may be, a proper alternative is required especially considering Mushfiqur's value as captain and batsman.
The one option could be to pick a full-time wicketkeeper in the side. That of course would disrupt Bangladesh's line-up and compel them to include a batsman less.
The other option would be to have a special focus on established batsmen who keep and help them improve behind the stumps; and there are plenty in line for that. The likes of Anamul Haque and Jahurul Islam who have already played at international level, or domestic cricketers like Mithun Ali and Nurul Hasan could also be included.
Whatever be the strategy, there is no doubt that the problem is complex and may be a recurring one. Any solutions will have to be a long-term one that prolongs the involvement of one of the most important players in Bangladesh.

Published: 12:01 am Thursday, February 06, 2014

Last modified: 12:09 am Thursday, February 06, 2014

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