'You can't just defend and save a Test match'
Disappointed at not being able to save the one-off Test against India on a flat wicket in Hyderabad, Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim, on Monday, said his team could have done it if it had even one batsman of Indian skipper Virat Kohli's calibre.
Mushfiqur was asked if he agreed with Kohli's notion that "basic batting technique" would have saved the visitors from a defeat, Mushfiqur sarcastically replied, "If you had basic technique like Virat Kohli (has), then you would have scored at an average of 50 plus in Test matches. Then you won't be needing even seven batsmen on the final day to save a match. Four would have been enough for a draw.
"Unfortunately, we don't have a Virat Kohli in our team," the visiting captain said.
Asked about reports that he would be stripped off captaincy, Mushfiqur made it clear that he would neither quit captaincy nor wicket-keeping as he has a batting average of 34.
"My average is not more than 34 or 33. So, how can I be No 1 batsman of Bangladesh. If you are entrusted with 2 or 3 roles, that means management has shown faith in you. So I need to deliver in all three departments really well. If I am not doing well, that's upto the Board to take a call on my future," he said.
"At the moment, I am enjoying what I am doing as I love to spend time in the middle. The way you can do your job is to spend time in the middle rather than dressing room. There are people, who are sitting outside (BCB officials), they can take a decision but as far as I am concerned, I am happy to do all three," Mushfiqur said, making it clear that he won't give up on his treble role.
Talking about his century in the match, the Bangladesh skipper said, "As a Test batsman, it's necessary to know where your off stump is and also have the ability to leave the deliveries and have a strong defence. I stress on those two aspects."
Asked about the apparent cavalier approach of senior players like Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur sidestepped the issue.
"Tamim and Shakib are different players. They must have devised their own way of batting and they would want to continue like that," he said.
Mushfiqur also defended his decision of giving Shakib less overs than Taijul Islam and Mehedi Hasan Miraz.
"We had three frontline spinners and we needed people who could be economical and also get some purchase from the track. I felt Miraz and Taijul did a good job.
"Shakib is there (but that) does not mean that I would underbowl a rookie (Miraz). In those two days, I felt Miraz and Taijul were doing a better job."
He also said that defending to save a Test match was not possible.
"You can't just defend and save a Test match. Look at Shakib, he did not try to attack today but got out. I did not hit any ball like that in the first innings and even then I got out. There is no guarantee that you can save matches by defending. The bowlers, if they see you dead batting everything, would be more confident if they know that you are not going to go after them."
One of the positives for Mushfiqur was that Bangladesh stretched the game into Day 5.
"It's also a rarity that we stretched the game into Day 5 trying to save the match. We have had matches where we have lost in three and half or four days. It was a learning curve for me as well. Feeling bad but got self belief," he concluded.