Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza on Tuesday termed the Indian batting line-up as one of the best in the world but said his highly skilled pacer Mustafizur Rahaman can upset any kind of homework done by the visiting batsmen.
On the eve of the Asia Cup T20 opener against India, the Bangladesh skipper had to field various questions on the 20-year-old left-arm fast medium bowler, whom he feels “can do things which others in his team can’t”.
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“Mustafiz (that’s how Mashrafe refers to him) has many variations of his slow cutters. It is only important as to how confident he is about the execution part. He does he not focus on opposition batsmen and only concentrates on what he knows best. You can do your homework against Mustafiz but it might not work,” Mashrafe told mediapersons on Tuesday.
Since his mind-blowing debut against India last year, the frail left-arm seamer attracted a lot of attention, but his skipper assured that his feet are rooted to the ground firmly.
“Mustafiz doesn’t think about all things like what all is said about him. So, as a captain, it is easier for me to guide a boy who has no inclination towards all these external factors. And since he does not really care, it does not put him under any sort of pressure. I think Mustafiz is diametrically opposite of what people perceive him to be as he has got so much success so early in his career. What he does is to go out there and play and come back.
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“But, at the same time, what he is capable of is something others may not be capable of. He is scared of only one thing – when I am bowling from the opposite end,” the skipper said bursting into laughter.
But, as a reminder, Mashrafe cautioned that T20 is a different format than 50 overs and Mustafizur alone can not win Bangladesh matches.
“It is a different format and Mustafizur alone cannot win us matches. The others will also have to chip in. Our T20 record has not been that great but that does not mean we can’t improve. This tournament is our chance to prepare for the big event (World T20). We should not be afraid of failures.”
Mashrafe said that even though they won the ODI series last year, Bangladesh have to be at the top of their game to beat a quality side like India.
“Not only T20s, India’s batting is a challenge for all formats. So, we have that challenge, but we have to play very confidently, without any fear, with freedom. We are very confident we will do our best.”
While doubts remain over Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s participation in the match, his opposite number is preparing his strategy keeping the Jharkhand dasher in mind.
“Dhoni has been a tremendous player for India, we all know that. The batting order they have, it won’t bother them so much. He is a tremendous captain and player. We have to make plans for everyone, not just MS. Their batting order is outstanding, one of the best in the world. Still we are planning with Dhoni in mind.”
Asked about the playing XI, the skipper said: “Then I have to tell you everything. All 15 are capable of featuring in the XI. Yes we will miss a guy like Tamim Iqbal, who has played so many match-winning knocks for Bangladesh, but we have Imrul Kaayes and Mohammed Mithun, who have to step up.”
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