Mushfiq’s time is up as captain?

October 8, 2017

South African batsmen feasted on Bangladesh’s bowling for nearly two days to amass 573-4 before they declared their first innings of the first Test, but they are not the first team to do it with the Bangladeshi bowlers. Mushfiqur Rahim failed to read the pitch in successive Tests and that also should not be a problem. He is certainly not the first captain in history to make the blunder of opting to bowl first on a flat batting pitch.
A lot other captains did this and their team paid the price. In fact, some of Mushfiq’s predecessors like Naimur Rahman, Khaled Mahmud, and Habibul Bashar made this blunder in the past and lost their captaincy in the immediate aftermath.
Only time can say if Mushfiq will suffer the same fate. But it is no secret in Bangladesh cricket that his captaincy is now on the line. It will be highly surprising if Mushfiq continues in the same role in next series against Sri Lanka in December after their embarrassing show in South Africa.
Bangladesh lost the first Test by 333 runs and already staring at defeat in the second Test, having reached 115-7 till filing this report on the second day in Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein.
If Mushfiq loses his captaincy as being predicted, it however, may not be for the poor performance followed by his toss blunder and his mishandling of the bowlers. Mushfiq’s role as Bangladesh’s Test captain was questioned from several corners for his lack of self-respect.
It was evident once again after the opening day’s play in Bloemfontein when he came to the press conference to face some odd questions that he knew was inevitable.
It was indeed a bold step for him to face the press on a day when nothing went right for Bangladesh and captain owed an explanation.
He has learned this trick from coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, who often comes to the press to explain whenever he feels some of his decisions need an explanation.
As a person Hathurusinghe is known as bold and Mushfiq wanted to follow his coach. There was actually no harm in doing that. But the problem started when Mushfiq began acting like a crying baby instead of giving a proper explanation of his decision.
He felt as if he made a mistake by winning the toss. He spoke in a way as if he would have been happy to let the opposition make the decision to avoid the criticism. His words only indicated that avoiding criticism is more important than avoiding defeat-something which was unbecoming of a Test cricket.
Mushfiq evidently failed to distinguish club cricket and Test, where toss often played a vital role. If someone is unsure of what to do he is often recommended by his Board to step aside.
Mushfiq’s poor mindset was reflected not only in his decision after the toss but also in his candid admission about his own fielding position. Mushfiq said he fielded in the deep because the coach wanted him to do so.
In his own admission, Hathurusinghe felt Mushfiq was vulnerable to catch miss or leaking some cheap runs in close-in fielding position. Mushfiq on the other hand felt it was important for a captain to stay close to the wicket to guide his bowlers. But he could not summon his courage to tell it to his coach where he should stand.
What was he afraid of? Mushfiq never explained this and always projected himself as an obedient boy. Question has therefore aroused whether he should be the captain of the team? If someone cannot decide his own role, how can he guide others? Can someone command respect from others when he cannot respect himself? Mushfiq ought to find an answer, immediately.

-Input from New Age

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