Mustafizur quickly making a mark
Christmas Day media for Kane Williamson. "We are looking forward to Boxing Day. It's always a great environment at Hagley Oval." ^BM pic.twitter.com/2HZOxSpsa3
BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) December 24, 2016
Although pace bowlers usually struggle to put on a positive spin when toiling on the subcontinent, Bangladesh's latest fast-bowling sensation is so far an exception to the rule.
Mustafizur Rahman's early returns suggest he has been blessed with green tops in the formative stages of his international career, though the left-armer's success has been achieved wholly on turn-friendly surfaces in Dhaka, Chittagong and India, reports The Timaru Herald.
Black Caps coach Mike Hesson's assessment seems spot on when he labelled Mustafizur "world class".
"At the T20 World Cup he was very good. He's one of the best bowlers in the world so we've got to treat him with a fair amount of respect.
"All the professional [T20] tournaments going around the world are pretty keen to sign him. He's certainly set the IPL alight with his variations," Hesson said.
Although he has already on the fast track to sustained success, Mustafizur is also benefiting from the tutelage of legendary West Indian quick Courtney Walsh.
The 54-year-old, who claimed 519 wickets in his 132-test career and another 227 in ODIs, joined Bangladesh as bowling coach in September through to the 2019 World Cup.
Hesson thought Walsh would be useful for entire Bangladeshi pace attack given his track record here.
"He obviously knows how to bowl in New Zealand," he said, in respect to Walsh's 32 wickets from seven tests between 1987-99.
The ICC's recently anointed emerging player of the year has also had success across all three formats since making his international debut in T20 level against Pakistan in April last year; a maiden ODI followed that June [ v India] and a month later he played his first test against South Africa.
Although his career in its infancy - and he has already been sidelined by shoulder surgery - his statistics make impressive reading whichever way you assess them.
In nine ODIs - the most pertinent arena given Boxing Day's clash with the Black Caps in Christchurch - Mustafizur has 26 wickets at 12.34, a best of 6-43 [against India in his second game] a strike rate of 17.3 and an RPO of 4.26. He's already taken three five-wicket bags.
Mustafizur's T20 figures are also remarkable: 22 scalps in 13 games at 13.95 and an economy rate of 5.98.
The 21-year-old from Satkhira may not be well known in New Zealand, but the Black Caps are well aware of the threat he poses - his only five-wicket haul in the abbreviated form was recorded against the Black Caps at this year's World Cup in India.
He collected 5-22 from four overs in what was his last international outing - in March in the Super 10 group two phase at Kolkata's Eden Gardens.
Despite New Zealand still winning by 75 runs, Mustafizur made quite the impression.