Mustafizur Rahman's IPL stint that has been cut short has divided opinions in Bangladesh • BCCI
|

As the T20 World Cup approaches, Mustafizur sparks a debate between country and club

As the T20 World Cup approaches, Mustafizur sparks a debate between country and club: Is Bangladesh’s fast bowler making the most of his time ahead of the World Cup by playing a T20 series against Zimbabwe? Bangladesh rarely hears good news about T20 cricket. With the T20 World Cup right around the corner, it is…

As the T20 World Cup approaches, Mustafizur sparks a debate between country and club: Is Bangladesh’s fast bowler making the most of his time ahead of the World Cup by playing a T20 series against Zimbabwe?

Mustafizur Rahman's IPL stint that has been cut short has divided opinions in Bangladesh • BCCI

Bangladesh rarely hears good news about T20 cricket. With the T20 World Cup right around the corner, it is great news when a Bangladesh bowler who is considered past his prime lights up the biggest T20 league in the world with his variations.

With 10 wickets, Mustafizur Rahman is tied with Jasprit Bumrah for the most wickets among seamers in the IPL. Among bowlers who have bowled at least 20 overs this season, he has taken half his wickets in the death (overs 17-20). Reference

It’s hard to believe Mustafizur is doing so well in an IPL where bats have dominated balls like never before. Across all seasons, the scoring rate has topped nine runs per over for the first time after 32 games.

It has been almost impossible to hit Mustafizur’s offcutter this IPL. In Mumbai, he even dismissed Suryakumar Yadav for a duck, perhaps the catch of the season.

Mustafizur has not changed his T20 skills this IPL – he has always had them. Since a few weeks ago, it has been his form that has improved.

Nominations for Mustafizur’s participation in the IPL have been granted until May 1. Bangladesh will play Zimbabwe in a T20I series at home two days later. In the lead-up to the T20 World Cup, Bangladesh will then play USA in Texas later this month.

There is nothing Mustafiz can learn from the IPL, on the contrary, the IPL players can learn from Mustafiz. It will not benefit Bangladesh.”

BCB’s cricket operations chair, Jalal Yunus

There has been a lot of discussion in Bangladesh about Mustafizur’s case. While some believe Mustafizur should play in the IPL to prepare for the T20 World Cup, others feel he should play for Bangladesh.

The BCB’s cricket operations chair, Jalal Yunus, is against Mustafizur having a longer stint with Chennai Super Kings and strongly believes that the fast bowler would be better off playing for Bangladesh, according to Akram Khan, the former Bangladesh captain and current BCB director.

Akram was impressed with Mustafizur’s variations in Chepauk as he shut down Kolkata Knight Riders’ batting line-up. Andre Russell was unable to get rid of Mustafizur. A better preparation for the T20 World Cup would have been for Mustafizur to play in the IPL against top T20 batters rather than against Zimbabwe.

As Akram told reporters at the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mustafiz is the type of bowler that the team can benefit from if he is utilised properly. The team under Dhoni is certainly doing that right now. I think Mustafizur is benefiting greatly from playing for Chennai because he bowled according to a plan against Kolkata. In my opinion, he will learn a lot more from the IPL than from playing against Zimbabwe. He will spend time with big players in the dressing room of the [CSK] team, and he will play with different players as well.

I think Mustafiz should be given the opportunity to play more for CSK. We weren’t too worried about his performance not long ago. He has struggled in the last 12 months. But his performance in the IPL is improving. Since he isn’t playing longer-version cricket anymore, I won’t say he has totally transformed as a bowler, but he did improve a little from what we saw in the IPL. “If he continues to play in the IPL, Bangladesh will only be able to qualify for the World Cup.”

CSK•BCCI T20s seem to have found Mustafizur Rahman's mojo with the ball

BCB, however, wants to manage Mustafizur carefully before the T20 World Cup, according to Yunus.

The IPL has nothing to teach Mustafiz. He has nothing to learn from the IPL,” Yunus said. “His learning process is over. In fact, IPL players can learn from Mustafiz now. This will not benefit Bangladesh. IPL is a four-over game, but there is a lot of stress involved. They sometimes have to take a late flight after the match, which makes it hard for them. CSK is concerned about Mustafiz’s health and fitness. They [CSK] want to get as much out of him as possible,”

Yunus also cited the example of 2021, when some of Bangladesh’s key players showed up to a T20 World Cup fatigued after playing the IPL. Shakib joined the national team just a day after playing in the IPL final, while Mustafizur joined ten days after playing in the IPL.

“We have two players from the IPL who are going to the 2021 World Cup,” Yunus said. We don’t want a repeat of that. Mustafiz’s return from IPL does not mean he will play against Zimbabwe. We will manage his workload. He will travel with the team, which will help him get to know them better.

We need a fresh Mustafiz. We don’t want an exhausted Mustafiz. He needs to adjust to conditions in the US, where we play three T20Is in May. He must be fit before the World Cup.

In the build-up to major tournaments, the BCB tends to be conservative, as Mustafizur’s IPL stint was capped. In preparation for the 2023 ODI World Cup, many felt they experimented too much and rested important players. Before the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, where pitches are not spin-friendly, the BCB played T20Is against Australia and New Zealand on raging turners in Mirpur. In both cases, the approach backfired.

“I believe that he is benefiting greatly from playing for Chennai, which means Bangladesh will benefit from him as well. I think he will learn more from playing in the IPL than playing against Zimbabwe.”

Director of BCB, Akram Khan

The only Bangladeshi player in action at the IPL is Mustafizur. A competitive tournament brings out the best in a player, and Mustafizur is no exception. Offcutter pitching and gripping are indicators of Mustafizur’s confidence. The IPL has been a success for Mustafizur both at home and abroad. He has taken seven wickets this season with the slower ball, according to ESPNcricinfo. Only 69 runs have been conceded from 52 deliveries.

Mustafizur’s IPL heroics come after an ordinary performance against Sri Lanka last month. In three T20Is, he took just two wickets at 65.50 average. Due to this, the team management dropped him from the ODI series. In ODIs, Mustafizur is no longer Bangladesh’s first-choice bowler. The remaining IPL matches for CSK will help him strengthen his case for a place in the T20I team.

The bowler who burst onto the international scene in 2015 isn’t quite Mustafizur. As a result of the pandemic, he made a fresh start by taking 59 wickets at 20.83 in T20s in 2021. In that year, he took the second-most wickets, behind Rashid Khan (75). During the next two years, he blew cold, but now he’s blowing hot in the IPL. Practicing for another big tournament is the best way to prepare. However, the BCB doesn’t seem to agree with this and wants him back as soon as possible.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *