A painful finger & keeping gloves
Injuries to key players, it seems, is the biggest headache for the national selectors ahead of Bangladesh's one-off Test against India next month.
While the selectors are sweating to find two fit pace blowers for the Test, scheduled to start at Fatullah on June 10, the latest news of skipper Mushfiqur Rahim being advised to take a full week's rest to heal the injured ring finger on his right hand added more concern to Faruque Ahmed's three-man panel.
"Since he (Mushfiqur) was complaining of pain we did the necessary medical examinations again on his right hand. The report confirmed that the internal damage is yet to completely heal and that's why the swelling and the pain is still there. We have advised him to take full rest for one week before further assessment," said BCB physician Dr. Debashis Chowdhury to the Daily Star last night.
Mushfiqur injured his finger while keeping on the second day of the first Test at Khulna last month in the series against Pakistan. Although the medical report at that time confirmed only swelling due to internal bleeding, the Bangladesh batsman was advised not to don the keeping gloves until his finger had been fully cured.
Mushfiqur, who did not keep for the rest of that match however batted briefly and uncomfortably in the second innings of the famous drawn Test against Pakistan.
But his decision to keep in the second Test at Dhaka, where he stayed behind the wicket for almost two days, perhaps proved a big detriment to the healing of his injury.
It was also quite evident in his batting in both innings of the second Test where a batsman of his stature and technique was out playing ordinary shots. And on both occasions it was evident that he was definitely feeling uncomfortable gripping the bat.
There were calls from different quarters that Mushfiqur, a batting asset of Bangladesh, should avoid keeping, at least in the second Test, so that he could focus on his batting as well as allow his finger to undergo a proper healing process. But it was learnt that the 28-year-old Bangladesh captain had outright rejected that idea, which is now proving to be an unwise decision.
A debate has been going on for quite some time whether Mushfiqur, who is carrying a vulnerable right shoulder, should sacrifice the keeping gloves so that he can focus more on his batting and captaincy. He has been rigid in his stance to be the three-in-one in the team, but his painful right finger, which will heal sooner or later, might open the prospect of a different complexion.
It is still early to say, but in the present gloomy scenario one can not rule out the possibility of the selectors injecting a fresh wicketkeeper for the India Test as part of a disaster management plan.