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Mushfiqur Rahim is as serious as they come, always focused on his cricket, so when he does something that is even remotely funny, it catches the interest of the Bangladesh public. That was the case when he pulled off the “cobra celebration” after sealing a record chase for Bangladesh with an unbeaten 72 off 35 balls in the Nidahas Trophy.
After flicking a low full toss through midwicket to wrap up victory, Mushfiqur waved his bat in the air and did the snake dance, a celebration made popular by his team-mate Nazmul Islam. Was it a sign that his usually intense on-field demeanor is changing? Apparently not.
“It was just a normal celebration,” Mushfiqur said. “Maybe everyone liked it. I don’t want to say much about it. [The celebration] wasn’t pre-planned. I think you can see in the celebration that we wanted the win badly.
Deadpan response number two came when Mushfiqur was asked to turn his attention to the BCB president’s comments about his batting. On Sunday, Nazmul Hasan said he was shocked to see the batsman hitting massive sixes.
“I think after this innings he [BCB president] will know that I can at least play that way,” Mushfiqur said. “I think he saw my game in a different way all this time. I think there’s a different feeling when all your hard work over months pays off in the middle. I don’t think he saw us in training, too, but we did the job in the middle.
“I am not surprised [with my innings]. If you don’t have self-belief it becomes hard to deliver. To be honest, it is not good for me to be overjoyed after such an innings especially on that very good batting wicket. Someone had to play such a knock.
“People often focus on the result; they don’t look at the hard work we put into training. We had a tough time off late but we believed in ourselves. But it is also true that when you get the result, it boosts the team.”
Mushfiqur said he was keen to cash is on his experience – he is Bangladesh’s most capped T20I player – and contribute to the team with the bat.
“I try very hard to give back to the Bangladesh team and cricket what experience I have earned playing for almost 13 years,” he said. “I think now is my best time to contribute to the team. I will try to be consistent as a top-order batsman.
“I probably didn’t start T20s that well but now I want to correct my record in this format. I have a lot of other better innings in ODIs and Tests and I feel that I have the ability to play much better knocks in T20s.”
Mushfiqur credited stand-in captain Mahmudullah and Tamim Iqbal for Bangladesh’s remarkable turnaround after the ODI and T20I series losses to Sri Lanka at home.
“We had a brilliant chat as a whole group before the tournament,” he said. “We talked about regrouping, and that we have to do it; nobody will do it for us. We spoke about a lot of things that inspired us a lot, which is why I want to thank Tamim and Riyad [Mahmudullah] bhai.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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