A genuine all-rounder in his under-19 days and in domestic cricket, Mehedi Hasan Miraz burst onto the international circuit as an off-spinner with a dream Test debut in October 2016 when he picked up 19 wickets in his first two Tests and was instrumental in Bangladesh’s maiden Test win over England.
There was always potential for the 22-year-old to become a proper all-rounder at international level and so there have often been questions about his batting ability, which the cricketer has yet to utilise at the highest level.
In early 2016, Mehedi led Bangladesh to their maiden third-place finish in the ICC Under-19 World Cup. It was his all-round performances with bat and ball, scoring 242 runs in six games at an average of 60.50 and also scalping 12 that earned him the player-of-the-tournament trophy and the unofficial label of the next big thing in Bangladesh cricket.
But since making his international debut, Mehedi’s batting has not been a prominent feature of his game mostly because of his place in the batting order as he is mainly picked as a spinner rather than an all-rounder.
Averages of 17.72, 19.05 and 10.44 in Tests, ODIs and T20Is respectively do not justify his batting ability as Mehedi has often batted lower down the order with not much opportunity to prove his worth.
However, the last edition of the Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League has witnessed his batting ability after he was promoted to open the innings and enjoyed a lot of success in that position. Mehedi ended up scoring 292 runs in 14 games at an average of 32.22 and more importantly, managed to give good starts for Khulna Tigers which helped his side to reach the final of the tournament.
The cricketer, who is suffering from a finger injury sustained during the BPL is currently out of action and is eyeing a comeback from the third round of the Bangladesh Cricket League.
“I have spoken about my batting with selectors and they have supported me a lot to bat up the order in the domestic circuit. I got the support from my BPL team Khulna Tigers this season where Mushfiqur Rahim bhai encouraged me and said I can be a proper batsman and I also feel that,” Mehedi, who is currently rehabilitating from his injury, told reporters yesterday.
According to Mehedi, he won’t be able to bat up the order in the BCL but is keen on spending more time at the crease in longer-version cricket. He is also hopeful of batting higher up the order in the upcoming Dhaka Premier League.