Struggling Bangladesh can heave a huge sigh of relief as the team’s most dependable batsman Mushfiqur Rahim is all set to return to the fold in the side’s third and final Test against New Zealand, starting on March 16 in Christchurch.
”I think he will be available for the third and final Test,” team manager Khaled Masud Pilot said today as the Bangladesh reached Christchurch to play the third Test.
“He batted in the nets confidently against throw downs and did not look like he was struggling like the way he did when he began it earlier,” he added.
Mushfiqur indeed has multiple injuries that ruled him out in the first two Test matches. His absence in the middle order created such big loopholes that Bangladesh tasted middle order collapse in all four innings of the last two Tests. Bangladesh had already conceded the series, losing the first Test by an innings and 52 runs margin and the second in an innings and 12 runs margin. Mushfiqur’s rib injury resurfaced during the second ODI, making him doubtful for the third ODI, in which he went on to feature despite scans revealing a broken rib.
Mushfiqur also sustained two more injuries during the ongoing tour: a side strain and a wrist injury, and according to team management it was his wrist injury that sidelined him from the Bangladesh’s playing XI in the first two Test matches of the three-match Test series.
His injury was a big blow to the side, already weakened by the injuries to regular Test skipper Shakib Al Hasan and fast bowler Taskin Ahmed.
Mushfiqur tried to make a last attempt to see whether he could be available for the second Test but found out a little bit of soreness in that ligament area when he tried to bat with cricket ball ahead of the Test match.
But there is hardly any problem for him to hit the ball, making Bangladesh team management optimistic about his return for the last Test, which they will play to restore some pride and avoid another ignominious whitewash.
”We can make a call on him tomorrow but in all likelihood he is expected to be available unless any other complication arises,” Masud said.
While Mushfiqur is all set to comeback to the team, to Bangladesh’s delight, their in-form opener Tamim Iqbal didn’t complain about injury problem despite playing the Wellington Test with some niggles. ”It looked he (Tamim) is fine and didn’t complain anything about injury or niggles,” Masud said. “So we can also expect his service.”