Mushfik takes his cue from pacers’ resurgence
20-year-old Mushfik Hasan's call-up to the national squad for the one-off Test against Afghanistan was a bit surprising, but those who can recall his recent domestic performances will know the right-arm pacer has a knack for troubling batters of calibre. Pacers across the country were terrorising batters in the last National Cricket League but Mushfik's performances appeared to have a statement of intent about them.
He rattled Tamim Iqbal's stumps with a venomous delivery during one NCL game, bringing himself to the limelight. He would then bring down Dhaka Division almost single-handedly, picking up eight wickets in a single innings for 73 runs. His haul of 25 wickets across six games saw him in the top bracket of the wicket-takers' list that season.
Pace, bounce and a little bit of movement worked in his favour. He also bagged 16 wickets in four Bangladesh Cricket League matches last season, ending third in the wicket-takers' list.
Ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is not short of awareness and the Test captain, who will be missing the Afghanistan Test due to a finger injury, showed up to training on Thursday and attended the session from the beginning.
When young Mushfik got out of the dressing room, he approached Shakib first to shake his hand, having played alongside the all-rounder in the recent Dhaka Premier League for Mohammedan. The player informed during a press conference later that Shakib congratulated him and said 'carry on Mushfik'. He also talked about his DPL experience and Shakib's impact, having bagged 10 wickets this season for Mohammedan.
"I have learnt from watching him. On the field, he was instructing me about what to do. Whatever I was asking him, he answered according to the situation," he added.
He identified that his first-class performances had possibly landed him a place in the Test squad and maintained that his 'line, length, accuracy and pace' were his key mechanisms.
In the NCL, he left his captain Akbar Ali impressed with contributions to a trophy-winning side. Akbar had told The Daily Star after the win that the way Mushfik became the main attacking threat was a big boost to Rangpur Division.
Musfik also played the recent four-day series against West Indies A in Sylhet and felt he needed to maintain his process.
"I played the A team matches the same way I played NCL and BCL. If I get into the playing eleven for the national side, I will play the same way."
Mushfik, Ebadot Hossain and Taskin Ahmed bowled in the nets of the main Sher-e-Bangla ground yesterday and appeared to have great rapport with the rest of the pacers. It was the other faster bowlers inspiring the young gun. "I get inspired by Bangladesh's pacers. They are helping me out a lot. They work very hard and it's inspiring," he said, adding that he also follows South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada.
The youngster appears to be taking his cue from the rest and whether he makes the final eleven or not, being a part of the process will help him add to Bangladesh's pace strength. His coaches have told him 'do what is natural.' Pace and aggression is his natural instinct as Mushfik waits in the wings.