BAN vs SL Series 2022: Mustafizur’s versatile bowling could have been beneficial for Bangladesh

The BCB recently gave the left-arm bowler the go-ahead to play in the IPL instead of the Test series against South Africa. Bangladesh’s selectors are not keen on Mustafizur’s involvement in the Test format since the country has plenty of pace bowling alternatives and they didn’t pick him for the Sri Lanka series as well. However, Mustafizur could have led Bangladesh’s pace attack in the BAN vs SL Series 2022 given the current batch of Bangladesh pacers’ experience.

Mustafizur Rahman’s Test Profile

Mustafizur Rahman’s recent performance in Test cricket is one of the key reasons why the Bangladeshi team management has been hesitant to pick him. The left-hand pacer hasn’t been as outstanding as he was early in his career in the longer version format. Mustafizur made his Test debut in Chattogram against South Africa in 2015. He took four wickets in his first encounter and was named player of the match for his outstanding bowling performance. However, the left-hand pacer hasn’t progressed much as a longer-version bowler.

Mustafizur’s bowling average was 14.50 in 2015, which was a remarkable figure for a rookie bowler. Mustafizur had a respectable bowling average in 2017 and 2018. In 2017, he got a 36.38 bowling average, while in 2018, he had a 38.71 average. However, his Test performance has slipped in recent years, and he has only played in one Test match in each of the years 2019 and 2021. Mustafizur has yet to pick up a fifer for Bangladesh in Test format.

Many argue that Mustafizur’s lack of enthusiasm for the Test format has harmed his gameplay. He is now more interested in playing limited-overs cricket and the Indian Premier League since the shorter-version format provides players with more money than the longer-version format. That is why Mustafizur Rahman prefers to play for Bangladesh in ODIs and T20Is but not in Tests. Mustafizur Rahman last played a Test match in February 2021 against the West Indies. Bangladesh have played ten Test matches since then, but Mustafizur hasn’t participated in any of them.

Why do Bangladesh need Mustafizur Rahman in the Test Series against Sri Lanka?

Two of Bangladesh’s most skilled bowlers, Taskin Ahmed and Shoriful Islam will be unavailable for the Test series against Sri Lanka, which begins in mid-May. Though Shoriful’s participation in the series is subject to his fitness.

Therefore, Bangladesh selectors picked Ebadot Hossain, Khaled Ahmed, and Shohidul Islam for the upcoming BAN vs SL Series 2022. However, none of the bowlers are well-known wicket-takers, and the hosts needed a fast bowler who can frighten the Lankan batting line-up on Bangladesh’s slow surfaces.

Mustafizur Rahman could have been a good pace-bowling option on this kind of surface in this circumstance. He has a bowling average of 31.50 in Bangladesh, and, more importantly, his bowling style is ideal for these conditions. Sri Lankan batters could have been in real danger against Mustafizur’s cutter and slower deliveries.

Bottom Line

Mustafizur Rahman is an outstanding medium-pacer in the limited-overs format. He understands how to succeed on slow surfaces in Bangladesh. Mustafizur’s bowing could have been crucial for Bangladesh against a less-experienced Sri Lankan Test side in the upcoming BAN vs SL Series 2022, despite his Test records not being as outstanding as his ODI or T20 stats.

Source: United News of Bangladesh