Mushfiqur 'extremely doubtful'
Just as he entered the Basin Reserve Stadium in Wellington, the venue for Bangladesh's second Test against host New Zealand, Mushfiqur Rahim looked up at the heavens, muttered something under his breath and joined his team mates for the warm up session yesterday.
It was at the Basin Reserve that the experienced cricketer and then captain smashed a magnificent 159 in the first Test against the Kiwis back in 2017 and, along with Shakib Al Hasan, added a record 359-run fifth-wicket stand for the Tigers.
In the second innings of that game the wicketkeeper-batsman sustained a blow on the back of his helmet off a Tim Southee bouncer and collapsed, laid on the ground for over 15 minutes before being taken off the field by an ambulance to a nearby hospital.
Despite posting a huge 595 for nine declared in their first innings, shockingly, the visitors went on to lose the game by seven wickets on the fifth day.
Two years on, the Tigers are once again in a desperate situation after losing the first Test by an innings and 52 runs in Hamilton. In the absence of regular Test skipper Shakib Al Hasan, who is also suffering from injury, it was Mushfiqur whom the team management would have wanted desperately in the middle order for stability.
Going back to yesterdays' training Mushfiqur looked determined and positive when he walked towards the outer nets, where he started batting drills after 13 days' gap since suffering multiple injuries in the third ODI.
He started the drill with soft rubber balls before switching to knocking against the cricket ball.
But just when he started middling his shots, Mushfiqur experienced pain in his injured wrist and went over to physio Thihan Chandramohan and informed him of his discomfort.
Although Mushfiqur's body language remained normal -- he was still smiling broadly with teammates after completing the batting drill -- Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes eventually revealed that the cricketer is 'extremely doubtful' for the second Test starting tomorrow.
"The situation with Mushy [Mushfiqur] is that he is trying his best to be fit as quick as possible for the Test matches. Today was his first drill hit with some tennis ball, rubber ball and he finished with some cricket ball work. When he got to the cricket ball there was still a little bit of soreness in that ligament area so it means he will be extremely doubtful for the second Test.
"It will take an amazing recovery overnight but we all hold out all the time for Mushy, but the good news may be that he is on course for the third Test. Let's hope there are no setbacks along the way," Rhodes told reporters after the training session yesterday.
Known for his determination and passion for the game, a disappointed Mushfiqur blamed his luck but was still hoping for a miracle.
"I still have some pain on my injured wrist area," Mushfiqur told The Daily Star. "Let's see I will bat tomorrow [Thursday] as well and after assessing my conditions the team management will give the final call, but it looks difficult. Obviously, I desperately want to return to the field as I have some good memories of this ground," he added.