‘He was trying too hard’: Childhood Coach Opens up on Mushfiqur Rahim’s Failure in T20Is

Bangladesh’s wicketkeeper-batter Mushfiqur Rahim announced called time on his T20I career. He announced his decision through social media on Sunday after his side crashed out of the ongoing Asia Cup, failing to win even a single match.

Rahim stated he was retiring from T20Is to focus more on Tests and ODIs, but he would continue to play in T20 franchise tournaments across the globe.

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The wicket-keeper batter’s spot in the T20Is had been under the radar for some time, owing to his inability to contribute significantly in the shortest format while excelling in the other two. Rahim was tested both in the top order as well as a finisher but failed to impress in both roles in T20Is.

Since November 2019, Rahim has managed to score just two half-centuries and his average is a dismal 19.48 in T20Is. While he has been suffering in the shorter format, his performances in the other two formats have been quite impressive as he averages 54.81 in 15 Tests, including three tons and a double-hundred since 2019. In ODIs, the former skipper has smashed 674 runs at a healthy average of 42.12.

Rahim’s childhood mentor Nazmul Abedin believes that the sole reason behind the 35-year-old, grasping at straws in T20Is is because he was attempting to break away from his customary routine.

“I have seen him trying too many shots in the nets before going to the Asia Cup and to be honest he was trying a little too hard. At times going out of his character to make sure he fulfils the demands of the shortest format of the game. This could have had an effect on his batting since he had his own pattern, and someone who moves away from his pattern is unlikely to succeed,” Nazmul said in an interview with Cricbuzz on Sunday.

“If I am a batsman and I always think that I have to score quickly, it will hardly work. If the ball is there to hit he will hit it on the back of his muscle memory that will dictate his action, but if he is predetermined to play a shot, it might backfire.” Nazmul added.

Rahim’s rough patch in T20Is continued at the Asia Cup, as he only managed five runs in two matches. His torrid time at the crease and unrest with the board finally made him draw curtains on his T20I career.

However, his coach feels that his choice to withdraw from T20s may turn out to be a blessing in disguise as it would allow him to prolong his Test career. Bangladesh would also want their seasoned campaigner to perform for them in ODIs and Tests. And now that he is under less strain, Rahim might just make the most of his time to return to his absolute best for his national side.

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