After a tiring first day of first Test at Potchefstroom, it was Sabbir Rahman, who appeared in front of the press and gave some illogical statement in favour Mushfiqur Rahim’s decision to bowl first. Bangladesh suffered badly due to that decision and sadly, the Bangladesh captain committed the same mistake yesterday after winning the toss. The South African batters punished Bangladesh in a similar fashion. From deciding to field to captaining the side in the middle, Mushfiqur Rahim was very poor.
Thankfully, he appeared in front of the media after the end of first day’s play at Bloemfontein. But what he stated to presses were nothing but hilarious and very immature.
About the toss
Mushfiq was asked about the decision to bowl first and he replied ‘emotionally,’ “I think it was my mistake to win the toss. I have been trying to do everything honestly for the last 12 years. But in these last two games, it seems it’d have been better had I lost the toss”.
It was a mistake to win the toss? How on earth could the captain of a Test team state anything such as this? He played cricket for twelve years and has been leading the Test side for the last six years and one expects a captain to speak with enough maturity and not like a school kid. Stating that winning the toss was a mistake, only indicated about his fragile confidence and lack of ability to handle pressure.
When a captain wins the toss, he uses it to his advantage and not blame it. Lady luck gave Mushfiq back to back opportunities to utilise the dry tracks at Potchefstroom and Bloemfontein. But his inability to read the track dented Bangladesh’s hopes.
Now, who should be blamed here?
Winning the toss or the inability to read the track?
Blaming the bowlers
“It didn’t go well. We took the decision to bowl first and there was help in the first two hours. Our bowling wasn’t up to the standard. It was disappointing. When you give away a lot of runs with the new ball things become easier for the batsmen when it should be the opposite. We made a comeback but it was not enough. We are on the backfoot. If we can take two early wickets, we hope to bowl them out within the next 100-150 runs,” said Mushfiq during the post-day press conference after day one.
Hey, dude, give me a break!
Just read the points below:
1. You started with two slips instead of three with Mustafiz from the Loch Logus End where the breeze was blowing in favour of pacers.
2. You kept a leg slip and asked Fizz to attack middle and leg against Dean Elgar who’s extremely good on his pads and wasted the new ball.
3. You denied the new ball bowlers to achieve any sort of momentum and hampered it by replacing them with Rubel Hossain and Soumya Sarkar (!) in the first six overs of first session of first day of a Test.
4. You set a defensive field in first session and allowed the home team’s batsmen to settle easily.
5. Despite being a captain, you kept on fielding outside the inner circle which was simply mind-boggling.
Blaming the bowlers cannot mask your own mistakes.
Blaming the team management
“I want to clear something: I am not being considered as a good fielder. The coaches wanted me to field in the deep because they feel I give away runs or drop catches in the inner circle. I tried to abide by their instruction. You have to do what the team management tells you to do. I tried to field in the deep but whenever I was in the inner circle, I tried to speak to the bowlers,” said Mushfiq during the post-day press conference after day one.
Perhaps, this was a funny statement.
Be it in Test cricket or 50-over format, a lot depends on the captain to decide as because he’s at the centre of action. This is a game of cricket and not soccer where the coach would dictate terms at times from the dugout. In cricket, a captain needs to depend a lot on his courage and intelligence. A captain always has to take his own decisions in the middle and not rely on anyone else. Yes, he might take suggestions from others, but at the end of the day, it would be his decision which would help the team in the best possible way.
If a Test captain says, he was fielding outside the inner circle as because the team management wanted him to do such then why is he the captain? If a Test captain is the puppet of others, then he is nothing but a spineless creature and definitely, he is not qualified enough to lead a Test team.
Whether Mushfiq made such accusations only to hide his own mistakes or not remains a moot question. Mushfiq might have wanted to play a blame game and blame games are only played by the weak characters. Sadly, time and again, Mushfiq is proving himself as someone weak who lacks the personality and confidence to lead a Test team.
The time has come for Bangladesh Cricket Board to rethink about Mushfiq as the Test captain. It would be better if they invest faith in someone like Tamim Iqbal who has the personality, leadership qualities and sound knowledge about the game.