Herath ‘happy’ with Mustafizur
Bangladesh's spin bowling coach Rangana Herath came out in support of Tigers' pacer Mustafizur Rahman after the left-arm pacer received criticisms for his underwhelming display in the first two ODIs against England at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Mustafizur conceded 42 runs in the eight overs he bowled in the first match. He was ineffective in the second ODI as well, giving away 63 runs in his full quota of 10 overs. But what caught the eye was his over-dependency on cutters which made him extremely predictable as England batters were largely unchallenged with what the 27-year-old was dishing out.
Once considered a match-winner for his side, Mustafizur leaked runs, seemed terribly out of ideas and went wicketless in the two matches. But it is not something new.
'The Fizz' has been inconsistent for some time now and he must be thanking his lucky stars as the team management has decided to overlook his recent exploits and banked heavily on his pedigree in hope that he will come good again.
Despite all the scrutiny, Herath said that Mustafizur can't be expected to take wickets in different stages of the game and also keep the scoring in check at the same time. He pointed out the difficult role the ace pacer plays for the team but admitted that there is room for improvement.
"We need to understand that Mustafizur bowls in the first few overs, in the middle overs and then in the last overs. We can't expect him to take a lot of wickets and keep down the runs. He is doing the hardest part for the team. We need to understand that too. I am happy with him, but there are things to work on all the time," the former Sri Lankan spinner told the reporters on Sunday.
The Tigers lost the first two ODIs against England in Mirpur where it was thought that someone of Mustafizur's nature would thrive.
Bangladesh had the chance of using the Mirpur wicket to their advantage.
In the first ODI, the spinners managed to turn the match on its head before succumbing to a narrow defeat but in the second match, the bowlers seemed to have lost the plot allowing England to post a very challenging 326.
The Chattogram wicket, however, is expected to offer much better batting conditions.
India managed to post a mammoth 409 in the third ODI against Bangladesh in Chattogram last year, with opener Ishan Kishan smashing a double hundred.
While it was believed that the wicket would be a sporting one, Herath revealed that there was dryness in the wicket which will aid spinners, while pacers would have their work cut out for them.
"There will be a challenge from spinners and fast bowlers. It looks a bit dry, in that case when the fast bowlers will have a bit of challenge. Same for spinners. As batters we need to get to that challenge, and react accordingly," he said.