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Mushfiqur Rahim targets major improvement in away Tests
Bangladesh News

Mushfiqur Rahim targets major improvement in away Tests

Mushfiqur Rahim feels Bangladesh's Test unit requires a lot of work in their performances away from home in order to break into the top-six in the format.

Bangladesh's barren run on foreign tours has meant they are struggling at the ninth position in the Test rankings while they languish at the bottom of the points table in the World Test Championship.

Frequently exposed for their bowling frailties, Bangladesh have crashed to humiliating defeats by an innings margin each of their last five away games.

They also succumbed to an expansive 224-run loss against Test cricket newbies Afghanistan at home, giving the opposition just their second win in the red-ball format.

Despite being on the Test horizon for almost two decades now, doubts remain over Bangladesh's ability to thrive in this form of the game. Mushfiqur admitted this extended string of defeats was a worrying sign for Bangladesh cricket but they possessed the potential to beat big teams.

“I truly believe that as a team we have many things to achieve in Test cricket. We have played Test cricket for 20 years and yet, we have not achieved our goal, despite having some good players over the years," he said while talking in a Facebook Live session.

"But we did well in the last few years in Tests, particularly in our home conditions. Our performance graph in the last few years in home series will show that. Now our main concern is improving in away series," Mushfiqur was quoted as saying by Dhaka Tribune.

"A big challenge is waiting for us in the near future. The Test Championship started recently. It’s a big challenge for us."

Batting collapses have been a common feature of Bangladesh's Test showings over the past several months. Their visit to India was marked by sub-200 totals, failing to put up a fight against the hosts' feisty pace attack.

More recently, the Rawalpindi Test saw Bangladesh capitulate off the bowling of Shaheen Afridi and Naseem Shah as the latter picked up his maiden hat-trick in international cricket.

The mode of dismissals reflected a rather perturbing pattern with the batsmen opting for wild swings much suited to white-ball cricket. Acknowledging these flaws, Mushfiqur stressed on a revamp of their strategies and gameplans.

“I believe our improvement should be team-wise, and we shouldn’t concentrate on individual performance in Tests. We have to target at least a top-six position in Test rankings. Obviously, we have the ability to enter into the top six, but we need to work hard."

“We need to start the process of improving our performance in Tests Championship. We are scheduled to play a few Tests at home against the likes of Australia, New Zealand and the West Indies.

"We have good hope against these teams as we have played well against such big teams in recent years in home conditions. But as you know play has been stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic."

Mushfiqur's own form with the bat has been nothing short of extraordinary as he celebrated a remarkable double century against Zimbabwe in February. The 32-year-old is his team's top-ranked batsman in Tests (19th) and hoped to see more of his compatriots dominate the international arena.

“Anyways, I think if we can perform consistently in Tests in the next few years as a team then we might find a few players in the top 10 batsmen or bowlers list in the ICC rankings as well, along with our improvement in the team rankings."