Sports, Cricket

Mushfiqur credits youngsters for their laudable performance

Published : 23 Mar 2023 09:30 PM

Bangladesh wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim has lauded the team’s youngsters and credited their performance for unshackling the senior players, allowing them to freely express themselves.

Mushfiqur returned to number six spot after a gap of six years in the ongoing three-match ODI series against Ireland as the team management promoted youngsters like TowhidHridoy up the order.

Mushfiqur, who has been batting at numbers four and five since 2017, eliminated all doubt and grabbed the opportunity with both hands to help Bangladesh post over 300 runs in the first two games of the series – and of course, scoring the fastest ODI hundred by a Bangladesh batsman in the process, and going past the 7000-run milestone.

The century was certainly a huge relief for Mushfiqur with youngsters knocking on the door and keeping him on his feet, but the veteran keeper insisted that the arrival of youth helps give the senior players freedom to express themselves.

“’I’ve batted at number 6 before, so I’m not unfamiliar with that position, but still I thought early on the wicket was a bit juicy,” Mushfiqur told broadcaster T-Sports on Thursday. “However, our top four batted really well to set it up for a good finish and I really enjoyed it. I think the conditions were good for batting so I just capitalized on my skills.

“It gives a lot of confidence as a senior player when someone like Hridoy or Shanto are coming in and chipping in at a good strike rate, it gives us a luxury to go from ball one, since there is no pressure from our end and we just have to go and express ourselves.”

Mushfiqur opined that batting aggressively depends on the conditions. He also credited the new coach, ChandikaHathurusingha, and added that if they can maintain the momentum through the year, then they will fancy their chances in the World Cup.

“Obviously (batting aggressively) depends on the conditions,” said Mushfiqur, recalling the recent surfaces that have been challenging from a batting point of view. “In the last two-three series, there has been help for spin and pace, but this is the first time the wickets are really good to bat on and express ourselves.”

“It had been great so far with the new coach (ChandikaHathurusingha) coming in. We have had a good buildup and if we can just continue with this momentum throughout this year, I think we will be very good team in the World Cup.”