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5 potential candidates for Bangladesh Test captaincy

Sabbir Rahman
Sabbir Rahman
Sabyasachi Chakraborty

Captaincy isn’t a stroll in the park by any stretch of the imagination. One is always under the pump to live up to expectations, both of the team management and the general public. Moreover, a skipper at the international arena comes under the scanner whenever his/her side struggles to perform.

Mushfiqur Rahim, apart from being a potent wicket-keeper batsman, has also been a skilful leader for Bangladesh at the highest level. However, the Bogra-born cricketer has recently attracted criticism from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) following the team’s drubbing at the hands of South Africa.

The current skipper took some unexpected decisions- fielding first on flat pitches being one of them- which didn’t go down well with the management. It won’t be bewildering if the BCB decides to take him down from the leader’s role.

Nevertheless, going forward, there are players who have the ability to lead the national team in Test cricket. In the slideshow, we take a look at five potential skippers of Bangladesh in the longest format of the sport.

#5 Sabbir Rahman

Young, unflinching and exuberant, there’s no doubting Sabbir Rahman’s skills with the willow. He likes to play the role of an aggressor and hardly shies away from unleashing his wide range of strokes. He has been successfully plying his trade for Bangladesh in limited-overs cricket for the last three years.

Nevertheless, Test cricket is a different ball game altogether where Sabbir doesn’t have much of an experience. However, after making his debut against England, a year ago, Rahman has added a new dimension to his batting- the cool, calm and collected approach.

As a skipper, he is a handy prospect for Bangladesh as he has displayed a cricketing brain, which is required to successfully lead a side.

It might be a gamble to make Sabbir the leader, but his blend of aggression and calmness might just turn around Bangladesh’s fortunes in Test cricket.

#4 Mominul Haque

Bangladesh v Australia - 2nd Test: Day 1
Mominul Haque

50+ scores in 11 consecutive Test matches- a streak, which finally ended against India in Fatullah in 2015. Consequently, he missed out on A.B de Villiers' record of half-centuries in 12 consecutive games. Nevertheless, it was evident that Bangladesh cricket had been blessed with someone stupendously talented and most importantly, reliable.

Reliability- a crucial component of captaincy that binds a team together. Mominul Haque isn’t intimidating to the naked eyes, but he does his job- scoring runs- with precision. Albeit small in stature, the left-hander doesn’t seem to get perturbed against the big guns of opposition sides.

Even as Mominul is still finding his feet in Test cricket, he can be tested out as the skipper of the Test team. He brings forth a sense of calmness and if he is given the mantle, it might just work wonders for the Tigers.

#3 Imrul Kayes

England v Bangladesh: 1st npower Test - Day Two
Imrul Kayes

Imrul Kayes made his Test debut back in 2008. However, plagued by injuries and inconsistent performances since then, his career never took off. Over the last nine years, the top-order batsman has only played 32 games for the national team, a disappointment considering his unflustered temperament and batting-technique.

He does not have many substantial knocks under his belt, but his experience might just earn him the captain’s role. To be honest, amidst Bangladesh’s horrendous show with the bat in their recent Test series against South Africa, Kayes looked determined to grind hard at the crease.

The management can try out Kayes as a leader, taking into consideration his ability to take a measured approach towards the game. In the T20 format, Kayes captained the Sylhet Royals in the Bangladesh Premier League- an experience which might assist Kayes while leading the national Test team.

#2 Mahmudullah Riyad

Mahmudullah
Mahmudullah Riyad

Over the years, Mahmudullah has carved a reputation for himself as a dependable cricketer for Bangladesh. On several occasions, the all-rounder has dragged his team out of precarious positions and guided them to safer shores.

He also has represented Bangladesh across several countries and played on pitches of diverse characteristics. Therefore, he has a fair idea about the tricks to thrive under different conditions.

Although an average of 30 with the willow doesn’t necessarily showcase his true potential, with 14 half-centuries under his belt, he has notched up several innings' of substance in Tests.

Mahmudullah captains the Khulna team in the Bangladesh Premier League. Therefore, he isn’t alien to the nuances of captaining a side. Going forward, he can be a candidate for Bangladesh to lead the Test side as his experience might come in handy while leading the national Test team.

#1 Tamim Iqbal

New Zealand v Bangladesh - 2nd Test: Day 4
Tamim Iqbal

Tamim Iqbal made his debut as a 17-year-old in 2007 and hasn’t looked back since. In the early part of his career, the left-hander used to play rash strokes and threw his wicket away at crucial junctures of various contests.

Nonetheless, with the passage of time, the opening batsman has transformed himself into a responsible head and is currently a mainstay of the Bangladesh batting lineup. He has developed himself to an extent where he can lead the national side with authority.

He also has a fair amount of experience in this role. He had once led the Test team in January 2017, when Bangladesh toured New Zealand for a 2-match Test series. He is also the skipper of the Chittagong Vikings team in the Bangladesh Premier League. Moving ahead, he might just turn out to be an appropriate replacement as a skipper for Mushfiqur Rahim.

Edited by Anuradha Santhanam

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