Riyad hazards a ‘maybe’ regarding Mushy’s inclusion

Mahmudullah Riyad during a press conference. Photo: Firoz Ahmed File

While Mushfiqur Rahim's injury situation means that he is unlikely to take part in the first Test against New Zealand at Hamilton tomorrow, stand-in Test skipper Mahmudullah Riyad used 'maybe' in reference to Mushfiqur being ruled out.

The experienced Mushfiqur Rahim – Bangladesh's most successful batsmen in all three formats last year -- has the kind of mental constitution required to play long Test innings. During last tour of New Zealand, he showed that in testing conditions. Following the second ODI, tests showed that he had a broken rib. He had also suffered from an injury to his finger during the second ODI but still went on to play the third ODI.

Maybe it was Mushfiqur's tenacity that made the skipper doubtful. Asked about Mushfiqur's condition, Mahmudullah said: 'Getting better but I think maybe we will not have him for tomorrow's match.'

Yesterday, coach Steve Rhodes asserted that Mushfiqur will not be risked if he is not 100 percent fit. "No, if he is 70 or 80 per cent fit we still have to look at it seriously as it's not an Asia Cup final or a World Cup final or even a semifinal," he had said. It may not be a final but the three-match Test series will still be a very big challenge for the Tigers, especially with two of their key men missing in action.

Bangladesh were already without Shakib Al Hasan for the ODI series -- ruled out following another finger injury. The all-rounder is doubtful for the Test series now.

"They are both very important players for us. At the same time the opportunity is for the others to use that chance well," Tigers stand-in skipper reiterated.


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