Mushfiqur Rahim is now in a spot of bother with all those injuries and niggles. After scoring a superb 159 in a magnificent 359-run fifth-wicket stand with Shakib Al Hasan on Friday, the Bangladesh Test captain did not come out to field on the third day on Saturday due to pain on his left thumb and right index finger. He had an X-ray in the morning but after the day's play it was not confirmed whether he would be available to lead the team for the next two days and more importantly don the wicket-keeping gloves.
Opener Imrul Kayes, who has the experience of doing a bit of keeping in domestic cricket, kept for the whole day and luckily he did not miss anything when it mattered most. After the third day's play, Bangladesh cricket team's media manager Rabeed Imam said that they were yet to get the X-ray report, adding that the captain was still in pain.
However, there is a strong possibility for Mushfiqur to sit out the remaining two days of the opening Test. It was learnt that he had a fracture and his thumb had swelled and he was not in a position to keep for a while. He might come out to bat but that would be in an extreme situation. The best case scenario for Mushfiqur would be to take rest until another assessment in 48 hours. It will be a big blow if things aggravate. In that case he might even miss the second Test and that will a huge setback for Bangladesh.
A key player in the batting line-up, Mushfiqur has just recovered from a hamstring injury that he sustained in the opening one-day match against the Black Caps in Christchurch on December 26. His absence was desperately felt in the next five limited-overs games that the Tigers lost and that was highlighted by experienced New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor yesterday.
“The one-day and T20 series were a lot closer than it looked. They were missing their [Test] skipper [Mushfiqur] and he has showed the class he has in the middle-order. The team rely heavily on him and if he had been batting in some of those situations during those one-dayers and T20s it could have been a different story,” observed Taylor yesterday.
Mushfiqur got a few blows on Friday, the most painful one coming from Neil Wagner whose vicious short-pitched delivery struck the diminutive batsman in the gloves.