DHAKA: Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh wicket-keeper batsman, has decided to give up his behind-the-stumps duties in Test cricket to focus solely on batting in the longest format.
Mushfiqur has made 67 Test appearances in his career so far and has 103 catches and 31 stumpings to his name. However, with him representing Bangladesh in all three formats and playing in domestic T20 leagues, the 32-year-old feels he has too much on his plate.
“I am not interested to keep wickets in Test. Now there are lots of games in the upcoming days and I play in all formats. Apart from international cricket, I play in DPL (Dhaka Premier League) and BPL (Bangladesh Premier League). Considering everything, I think it is getting a bit overloaded,” he said.
“I want to perform for a long time and because I am playing across formats I needed to think. I did not have any severe injury during the last five years but at the same time, I did not take a substantial amount of rest. In the future, such scenarios should not arise that I have to take rest in one or two series.
“So instead of that (missing series for rest) the only thing that I can do is minimize my workload and that is only possible by not keeping in Test and that’s why I have taken this decision.”
Mushfiqur has kept the wickets in 55 of 67 Tests, scoring 3,515 runs at an average of 37. That number goes down to 24.47 in the remaining 12 Tests in which he was not a designated wicket-keeper. However, he now feels that he cannot give his best with the bat if he continues to keep wickets.
“It is not that I cannot do well despite keeping wickets. I scored my two double centuries while keeping wickets and it is the same with all my Test centuries. Probably as a keeper my batting record is better and I still feel that when I am keeping I get a better idea about my batting because I can see everything from behind and it helps,” he acknowledged.
“(But) I have crossed 30 long time back. I need to play at my best and have to keep my excellence. I just don’t want to be part of the playing XI. Wherever I play I want to give my best. The performance can be different on several junctures but I want to be prepared in the best possible way. Considering everything I felt that if I can sacrifice (the gloves) I can give my best for a long time.