Ahead of the team’s India tour, Mushfiqur Rahim, former Bangladesh skipper, on Sunday said that he will be keen to relinquish the wicketkeeping duties in Test cricket. Rahim said he is doing it in order to manage his workload and prolong his career.
“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 over-loaded,” Rahim was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“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 substantial amount of rest. In 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,” he added.
Rahim has faced his share of criticism for his work behind the wickets but said that it has nothing to do with his decision.
“Criticism is not new and it is not happening for just last one year. Everyone is not Shakib Al Hasan that he will give his hundred percent both with bat and ball. Probably my batting and keeping was not on the same level and there can be lacking from my side. If that was the case then I would have left keeping across format,” said Rahim.
“It is not that I cannot do well despite keeping wickets. I scored my two double centuries while keeping wickets and it is same with all my Test centuries. Probably as a keeper by 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 continued.
“(But) I have crossed 30 long time back and if you want to say that is one way of having a long career. What I feel is that 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. Where ever I play I want to give my best. The performance can be differing on several junctures but I want to be prepared in the best possible way. Considering everything I felt that if I can sacrifice [my keeping] I can give my best for long time.
“But if they (team management) want me to keep wickets in Test in future than that is up to them and you have to give preference to the demand of the team management. For the time being I don’t want to keep wickets in Test,” he concluded.
Bangladesh are scheduled to play two-match Test series against India. The Test series will be their first for Bangladesh in the World Test Championship.