Mushfiq's year in office
Bangladesh's current captain took over at a tough time for the team and himself, and has managed to pull it off
September 20, 2012
| Mushfiqur Rahim has come a long way since nearly losing his place in the side to leading Bangladesh to some special triumphs over the last year © ICC |
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The day Shakib Al Hasan was sacked
as Bangladesh captain was the day Lionel Messi arrived in Dhaka to play in an international friendly against Nigeria. Considering the gloomy disposition of Bangladesh cricket that afternoon, the headline about cricket stealing football's thunder again doing the rounds in this writer's newspaper office, where the lead piece had to be changed at the last minute, was cringe-worthy.
The dismissal of the team's best player as captain was largely because Bangladesh had lost to Zimbabwe in a Test match and a one-day series the month before. It wasn't going to be easy for whoever filled the vacancy. That Mushfiqur Rahim
, the man who was chosen
, and was himself only starting a second life as a batsman in the team at the time of his appointment, has since completed a year in charge suggests that he has been able to steady the boat that had been rocking for two years.
Mushfiqur has, in that year, overseen, and at times influenced, dramatic wins in T20s and one-dayers against an assortment of international teams, looked helpless in Test matches, and survived the loss of a coach. His ability to dig himself out of the hole he found himself in in March 2011 has seemed to inspire the side, and his intensity and work ethic have helped him grow in the eyes of his team-mates.
He is, more often than not, the first to enter the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium and the last to leave, his hunger for batting leaving net bowlers and the coaching staff with stiff shoulders each day. "It is not as if I have a 50-plus average in international cricket," Mushfiqur said to ESPNcricinfo. "I always try to do something extra, by half an hour or an hour. If everyone is doing six exercises in the gym, I have to do eight. If someone gives ten sprints, I will give 12. This is how I remain motivated. I will do the extra work so that when I need to do something extraordinary, my skills back me.
"I play 100-200 balls every day. If I stay behind after everyone leaves, I will ask the net bowlers to give me an extra hour. When I have to do extra work for wicketkeeping, I will request [computer analyst and former Bangladesh wicketkeeper Nasir Ahmed] Nasu bhai
to give me an extra hour of catches," he said.
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