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Asia Cup 2014: Mushfiqur Rahim leads from the front with a splendid century against India

Bangladeshi cricketer Mushfiqur Rahim 1-1
Mushfiqur Rahim cracked a brilliant ton against India in Asia Cup 2014 match at Fatullah © AFP

Mushfiqur Rahim showcased poise and unruffled temperament to take Bangladesh to a position of strength in the Asia Cup 2014 game against India at Fatullah. Bharath Ramaraj examines the ability of Rahim to lead from the front as the captain of the side.

When the name of Mushfiqur Rahim flashes in a cricket romantic’s mind, one envisages a wicketkeeper-batsman who plays with nerves of steel to wade through all those hurdles and pass the trial by fire with consummate mastery. In fact, even the extra burden of captaining the side hasn’t affected his concentration prowess, as he has thrived with the willow in recent times.  In the second match of the Asia Cup 2014 played at Fatullah against India, he was yet again a symbol of excellence.

The bedrock of Bangladesh’s batting line-up bisected the field with precise measure of timing. He eventually essayed a knock of 117 off a mere 113 balls. The breathtaking fluency with which he went about collecting his runs must have gladdened the hearts of Bangladesh’s supporters.

Two years ago too in the Asia Cup 2012 held in Bangladesh, he had tormented the Indian side with his masterful artwork of batsmanship. While chasing a target of 293, it was Rahim’s blitzkrieg knock of 40 off 25 balls that had turned the tables to help Bangladesh win a nail-biting encounter. As nerves jangled and hearts pumped, Rahim was as cool as cucumber and no wonder, he masterminded a monumental chase. One has to remember that he was the captain of the side then as well.

Very few have that uncanny ability to rise to the occasion and lead from the front. Rahim seems to be one of them, as he has done better as a captain.

Rahim’s record as a captain and player in One-Day Internationals (ODIs):

 

M

R

Ave

Strike rate

As player

98

1,875

25.68

66.41

As captain

28

827

34.45

78.45

The above numbers in a crystal clear manner indicates that for Rahim captaining the side is not a burden. He is ready to stand toe-to-toe with the best in the business and come out as a true winner. There is every chance that others in the Bangladesh’s camp would be emboldened by their plucky captain and leave their mark at the international stage.

It has been nine long years now since Rahim made his debut in internationals in a Test match against England at Lord’s. Yet, even then one fondly rekindles memories of a diminutive 16-year old batsman standing up to mighty fine bowlers in his very first innings of his fledgling career.

Rahim unmistakably has it in him to re-define boundaries and construct soul-lifting masterpieces to lead his side from the front. He is undoubtedly a treasured game of Bangladesh cricket.

(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)

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