During every Tigers practice session it is a common scene that computer analyst Nasir Ahmed is seen working with wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim. The reason was simple; the former wicketkeeper has got the additional task of making sure that the young stumper improves his keeping skill.
When the Bogra-lad was picked in the World Cup team four years back in place of then stalwart Khaled Mashud, many had raised their eyebrows but the youngsters silenced the critics by playing a magnificent match-winning knock against India in the 2007 extravaganza in West Indies.
Without any doubt he was the automatic choice for the team this time for the 2011 World Cup where Bangladesh is one of the co-hosts along with India and Sri Lanka.
And there has hardly been any doubt over his ability as a batsman as his solid technique has been highly rated by the cricket pundits. However, a question remains about his expertise as a wicketkeeper.
The 22-year old has often dropped simple catches and sometimes missed vital chances but it would be really hard for the team to afford that sort of mistakes when we are going to play the World Cup in the subcontinent where bowlers have to sweat for a scalp.
Besides his batting, everybody will looking forward to seeing Mushfiqur making the least amount of mistakes behind the stumps so that the Tigers can fulfill their first dream of making the quarterfinal berth in the showpiece event.
Mushfiqur has to ensure a big role during the Tigers journey in the World Cup.
“Catches win the matches”. It’s a very popular saying in cricket and for an improving team like Bangladesh a dropped catch can change the whole scenario of the match.
“One cannot be a hundred percent successful as a wicketkeeper. My observation is that Mushfiqur improved a lot in wicket keeping. He has some problems to grip the ball properly against the spin bowlers but now he is more comfortable,” observed Nasir Ahmed.
“I never have seen such a hard-working boy like Mushfiqur and what I believe is that his work ethic can be a real example for the others. It’s not a joke to work hard for wicket keeping practice after batting two hours in the nets. You know wicket keeping is such a job where experience is a major factor. Mushfiqur is now more matured,” he added.
Nasir Ahmed also praised the young man’s mental strength.
“You simply can’t imagine how tough he is as a player. And toughness is a vital part if someone wants to be a good wicketkeeper. I strongly believe his improvement as a wicketkeeper will be visible during the World Cup,” said Nasir.
“But still he has to improve his gripping and movement and I hope he will be improving with each game,” he added.
Mushfiqur’s predecessor Mashud also heaped praise on the young man.
“He is a perfect one-day player and an asset for any team. As a batsman he has an excellent technique to cope with any conditions and match situation and as a wicketkeeper he has also improved a lot. I hardly find a positive player like Mushfiqur,” said Mashud.
“He is a hard-working and disciplined guy and I have high hopes with Mushfiqur. I think we are yet to get the best out of this young man. He has some lacking in his keeping which in my opinion is because of his lack of experience of playing four-day matches. Actually you have to give someone enough time to become a complete wicketkeeper,” he added.
Mashud also believes that Mushfiqur Rahim would be a very vital component in Tigers’ success in the upcoming World Cup.