Bangladesh cricket team is not known to produce fast bowlers. Over the years, very few pacers have made a name for themselves in international cricket and survived. Tapash Baisya, Mashrafe Mortaza, and you can’t recall more names.
The story, however, has changed, especially in the last couple of months as the Tigers have made an impact. Courtesy a raw pace attack that knocked out England and almost defeated New Zealand in their last group game in the World Cup.
The 25-year old Rubel Hossain played his part and it was more than a guest appearance.
Rubel is Bangladesh’s best bet in the coming future and no surprise he will be the seamer to watch out for in the upcoming one-off Test against India. While there were question marks over his fitness, the seamer has recovered well in time and his return was welcomed by former Zimbabwe all-rounder, now Bangladesh bowling coach, Heath Streak.
“Obviously it is nice to have Rubel back in the equation. Normally wickets here are quite tough for the fast bowlers so it requires a lot of patience. I thought Shahid bowled really well in the Pakistan series and showed what he can do. Rubel has been in good form prior to his injury,” the former cricketer said in an interaction on Monday.
The pitches in Bangladesh will assist spinners and it’s hardly anybody’s guess that Bangladesh will rely heavily on the slower bowlers against India. But Rubel’s pace and aggression can’t be ignored, even on spin-conducive strips.
The Virat Kohli send-off in the World Cup quarterfinal is still fresh in the minds of Indian cricket team’s fans. Can you associate any of Rubel’s teammate with that sort of trait? Look around and return disappointed.
In Rubel, Bangladesh have found a character. Someone who could walk the talk. Someone who could stare the batsman in the eye and unnerve him in the middle. As far as his skills are concerned, the seamer possesses a good bouncer and can effectively deploy in-swinging yorkers at the death.
The year has been a mixed bag for the 25-year-old so far. It started with rape allegations, a dream World Cup, withdrawal of rape charges, poor series against Pakistan. And, now he is up against the mighty Indian batting order.
It will take some doing to improve his very ordinary Test bowling average of 73.34. The Indian side is packed with quality batsmen, and they certainly know how to bat in sub-continental conditions. Will Rubel, after going wicketless in Test series against Pakistan, add some prized scalps is something we will discover in the coming week. But if he makes the cut, the viewers can expect plenty of drama and banter in the middle.