Mushfiqur: Give the top order a break

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Bangladesh Test skipper Mushfiqur Rahim has asked the country’s press to dial back their criticism of the top order batsmen for the tour of South Africa.

The top three of Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman and Soumya Sarkar face a tough tour to South Africa where they will be met by one of the best seam attacks in the world.

Mushfiqur feels the constant criticism of these players is making life tough for the team and called for the press to support the players.

Speaking ahead of his team’s departure for South Africa Mushfiqur said: “Every player wants to do well.

“There has been a lot of talk about Imrul, Sabbir and Soumya. While criticism is acceptable, please don’t do it unnecessarily as they will go further into their comfort zone.

“If they can’t perform, Bangladesh will lose more. It will take a lot of time to replace these players. It is hard to perform consistently so please don’t question them repeatedly. If they do badly, at least they will know that people around them are supportive.”

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Mushfiqur is not thrilled at the prospect of facing the number two Test team in the world without star allrounder Shakib-al-Hasan.

Shakib has requested a six month break from Test cricket and will not line up against South Africa in Potchefstroom.

Mushfiqur added: “We need two players to replace Shakib. It is a bad news for a captain that the No. 1 player is missing.

“But those who will play in his place have a great opportunity in front of them. We played without Shakib against West Indies, Zimbabwe and New Zealand and we won, but we will still miss him. I hope he can use the break to recover fully.

“I heard about it when he spoke to the board president. I prepared mentally, but you cannot replace him. Cricket is a team game. If we can play as a team, we can do well.”

The first Test between South Africa and Bangladesh gets underway on September 28.

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