New-dad Mushfiq confident of 1-0 win

Bangladesh batsman Mushfiqur Rahim plays football during a training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on Tuesday.— Sanaul Haque

Former captain Mushfiqur Rahim on Tuesday expressed his confidence of winning the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka 1-0 after the hosts pulled off a sensational draw in the first Test at Chittagong earlier this week.
The second and final Test of the series will start on Thursday at Sher-e Bangla National Stadium where the Tigers had memories of defeating England and Australia in Test matches in the past two years.
Mushfiq, who became the father of a boy on Monday, was satisfied with the way Bangladesh bounced back from a precarious 81-3 at the end of the fourth day to deny Sri Lanka what looked like a certain victory for the visitors.
‘We lost a number of Tests from this position so the draw was a huge gain,’ Mushfiq told reporters at Dhaka.
‘Mominul [Haque] and Liton [Das] had a great partnership, and I feel that the team would carry more confidence after the Chittagong Test. The batsmen took full advantage of the wicket. We didn’t bowl that well but we have capable bowlers. We feel that we can win the series 1-0,’ he added.
The 29-year old right-handed batsman was also quite handy with the bat in the first innings despite missing the opportunity to score his sixth Test ton after being caught behind scoring 92 runs.
This was the first Test match for Mushfiq since he was stripped of the Test captaincy in December after leading the side for nearly seven years and played merely as a specialist batsman after already giving his wicketkeeping job to Liton.
Mushfiq said he was enjoying his new role in the team and was trying to give his best effort for the side.
‘There’s always pressure but as a captain, I was an automatic choice. Now as a top-order batsman, I have to perform,’ said Mushfiq in his first formal press conference after his axing as captain.
‘I tried to give my best in the last game. I was unlucky in the second innings, the ball wasn’t that good. I will keep trying, and get more runs in the next game.
‘I had three jobs and now I have one job. I always try to perform my responsibilities to the best of my ability. Whatever the situation you face you have to continue with that and I am doing this and I am enjoying it,’ said Mushfiq.
Mushfiq took a great outfield catch to end Kusal Mendis’ marathon innings of 196 runs on the third day. He said he enjoyed his fielding and hailed his successor Liton as wicketkeeper.
‘I always enjoy fielding. Keeping wickets, of course, gives you a better perspective, especially about the wicket. But I am happy,’ he said.
‘Liton is batting and keeping well and I think he can give serve Bangladesh cricket for 8-10 years,’ he added.
Mushfiq also urged his team-mates to concentrate only on their performances in the game without worrying about wicket and said that their bowlers needed to apply all of their strengths in order to take 20 wickets of the opposition side which would ease them to victory.
‘The wicket will be the same for both teams. We don’t want to spend too much time thinking about it. The wickets on which we beat England and Australia weren’t easy ones,’ he said.
‘Regardless of the wicket, however, we have to apply ourselves better. Batsmen did well in Chittagong, because of which we could draw the game.
‘The bowling department is important because they have to take 20 wickets to win the Test match. ‘We are hoping Mirpur wicket is going to be different. We believe in our bowlers. We have good memories in Dhaka against England and Australia, which will give us some confidence,’ he added.

Source: New Age.


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