Rahim: I can’t quit when the team is down

Bangladesh

Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim knows his head could be on the chopping block after a dismal tour to the West Indies, but says he can’t quit the job when the team is in a bad patch.

The Tigers were whitewashed in both the ODI and Test series, by significant margins, and while Rahim did well personally, it was a lacklustre team effort. There has been talk of splitting the captaincy in future.

But Rahim is not ready to give up the leadership, saying he would not like to leave the side in the lurch when they are down and out, and is confident he can turn things around if given the chance.

Rahim said: “It doesn’t depend on me, I have said it before. It is hard to leave [the captaincy] when the team is going through a bad patch. The challenge is to return to the good days, and I hope I can do that before leaving the position.

“It is not my decision, but it is for those who have appointed me. Whatever is good for the team, I will agree to it. There is always pressure on a player, regardless of captaincy.

“It is the board’s decision. If they think it [changing the captain] is good, then definitely.”

Rahim was his usual honest self when asked about the reasons for the side’s woes, saying again that the players were not taking their jobs seriously, and lacked the desire to take their wickets seriously.

He said: “Teams don’t lose without a reason. I think we got out at crucial times. Bowlers failed to get us breakthroughs at important moments too. We couldn’t bowl well for long periods.

“Overall, I would say that we lacked in responsibility in both the Tests and ODIs, especially in our batting unit. We have to work more in this area.

“Everyone is accountable for a bad performance. It is not an issue with me. I have always maintained that when we do poorly, I should be held responsible. We didn’t get the results, but we will keep trying.”

He also added that dropping players like Nasir Hossain and Shamsur Rahman, who had lean Tests, was not the answer, and they should be persisted with, like Tamim Iqbal was, and he scored half centuries against the Windies.

The skipper said: “It would be unfair to a player if he is not given the minimum number of chances. We have to believe in him, which we are trying to do. Tamim had a lean period, so dropping a player isn’t always the best move.

“We are trying to back every player. Thankfully, Tamim has done well in this tour, so has [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai. I think we should back some of our important players. Nasir was a consistent performer even a year ago. He still is, just that he had a bad tour.

“We will take the field with a winning mentality against Zimbabwe. I don’t think there is anything bigger than backing a player. Dropping him isn’t the solution. The toughest thing would be to bring him back to form. We will do that hopefully.”

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