Nicholas saw Mushfiq masterfully tackle whatever the South African attack could throw at him for almost two hours. He lauded Mushfiq’s application and professionalism. This is why the commentator from England was astounded when Mushfiq gifted his wicket to off-spinner Simon Harmer just five minutes before the Lunch break.

The Bangladesh fans were left frustrated with Mushfiq’s foolish shot selection but they didn’t share the shock of the British commentator. In fact, anyone who regularly follows Bangladesh cricket could not be surprised seeing Mushfiq attempt a high-risk stroke like reverse sweep in a crucial stage of the match as the wicketkeeper batter has done so multiple times before.

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Mushfiq’s fondness of the reverse sweep is well known. He plays this shot whenever he feels like it, no matter what the situation of the match demands. The shot has earned Mushfiq a lot of runs, but at the same time it has brought his downfall on many occasions.

The last time Mushfiq got out in a Test match while attempting a reverse sweep was during the first innings of the second Test against West Indies in Dhaka. In that match, Mushfiq got out just a few overs before the end of the day’s play. That match ended in ignominy for Bangladesh as they lost the game by 17 runs and lost the series 0-2.

Mushfiq next got out while attempting the shot during the first One-Day International of the three-match series against Sri Lanka last year. His dismissal didn’t hurt Bangladesh that time as the Tigers won that match but it cost him a century as he fell 16 runs short off the triple-figure mark.

On Sunday, after Mushfiq’s departure Bangladesh lost its remaining three wickets for just seven runs. Had Mushfiq not thrown his wicket away just before Lunch, Bangladesh’s approach in the second session would’ve been very different.

With all-rounder Mehidy Hasan Miraz, who is enjoying his best spell with the bat in international cricket, Mushfiq could’ve tried to bat deep into the third day and frustrate the South African bowlers. But without Mushfiq at the other end, Miraz attempted to score quick runs and lost his wicket in the process.

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Mushfiq is Bangladesh’s most experienced cricketer in Tests. He is currently playing his 80th Test and is the country’s highest run-getter with 4931 runs. In spite of such vast experience, the 34-year-old still at times lacks maturity and is guilty of letting his ego get the better of him.

From one short statured right-hand batsman from the Indian sub-continent, let’s look at another one, the great Sachin Tendulkar.

During India’s tour to Australia in 2004, Sachin was batting well but getting out while attempting to play cover drives. To rectify the problem, the great Indian batsman decided that he won’t play a single cover drive in the Sydney Test. The Australians tried to bait him into playing that stroke but Sachin refrained from hitting a single shot through the covers and ended up scoring an unbeaten 241.

Understanding match situations and curbing instinctive strokes if the situation demands is what separates great batsmen from the rest. Sachin, who is considered as one of the greatest ever to pick up a cricket bat, didn’t play a textbook shot for over 10 hours and reaped the rewards. His patience is an example for every batsman on how they should never attach their ego with a particular shot. But it’s a lesson Mushfiq has so far refused to learn.

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