‘Batsman’ Mushfiq revels in first hundred

New Age‘Batsman’ Mushfiq revels in first hundred

Bangladesh batsman Mushfiqur Rahim reacts after scoring his double hundred against Zimbabwe on the third day of their one-off Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday. — AFP photo

Bangladesh batsman Mushfiqur Rahim on Monday admitted that the decision of skipping wicketkeeping helped his batting although he still missed doing the service for his country.

‘It was a difficult decision to make of course. Playing only as a batsman is always pressure. But at the same time, I can say that the decision is helping me in my batting and it can benefit me more in future,’ Mushfiq told reporters in Mirpur.

Mushfiq struck an unbeaten 203 off 318 balls against Zimbabwe on the third day of one-off Test, making him the only Bangladeshi batsman to score three double hundreds in cricket’s most revered format.

Since Mushfiq’s decision of putting aside his keeping gloves during the two-Test series against India last year, this was the third consecutive Test match, where Mushfiq scored at least one fifty-plus innings in each Test.

In earlier days, Mushfiq was reluctant to skip wicketkeeping as he believed that the job at the back helped him more in his batting and it clearly reflected on his statistics in his Test career.

Mushfiq has kept the wickets in 55 out of 70 Tests, scoring 3,515 runs at an average of 37 and the number went down to 24.47 in 12 Tests in which he was not a designated wicket-keeper.

However, he faced renewed pressure to skip keeping when new team management, led by head coach Russell Domingo, asked him took the job and it started to pay him dividend finally.

Mushfiq struck 43 and 64 runs respectively against India during the first Test in Indore while he made 74 runs in the second innings in Kolkata and became the most successful Bangladeshi batsman on Indian soil in that series, where most of the other batsmen failed immensely.

Mushfiq, who continued the same streak of not doing wicketkeeping, eventually got the maximum reward on Monday when he completed his double hundred and took his side to a position from where they could sniff the victory.

Mushfiq went to lunch on 99 on the third day and did not take much time to bring his hundred hitting a boundary in the second over after the break, his first-ever Test hundred as a specialized batsman and seventh Test ton overall.

Mushfiq was more determined not to get carried away after the hundred and completed his second double ton against Zimbabwe with 28 fours to put Bangladesh on top in the contest.

Mushfiq said he has full respect to the team management’s decision, which is helping his batting and acknowledged that doing fielding made him more relaxed before going to bat.

‘I think that I should admit the reality. I am also getting aged. I think this is the right time I should concentrate on different things,’ said Mushfiq.

‘I can be relaxed while fielding and can focus more on my batting. Overall it is going well for me and I hope that I will continue the same.

‘When I do fielding, I can be more relaxed and you can say that the reflection is seen in my batting. But I still miss the wicketkeeping and I respect what the team decided about me. I want to contribute maximum and will follow the same in the upcoming days,’ he added.


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