DHAKA, Mustafizur Rahman was at his best during Bangladesh's World Cup opener against South Africa and the Tigers began the journey with a bang.
He claimed 367 in 10 overs, the economy rate may look bad but he struck in crucial moment to deny South Africa chase down Bangladesh's total as they racked up 3306, their ODI highest also. South Africa eventually was shot out for 309.
But a different Mustafizur Rahman turned in the next two matches which Bangladesh lost by two wickets and 106 against New Zealand and England respectively.
In those two matches, he went wicketless, leaking runs in abundance. Especially Mustafizur's ordinary performance against New Zealand was criticized as Bangladesh could have won the match had Mustafizur bowled well.
Mustafizur Rahman, adorably called as Cutter Master, emerged as a shining star in the sky of Bangladesh Cricket in 2015 and took the World cricket by surprise demolishing a muchvaunted Indian batting line up in his first two matches with consecutive fivefor and sixfor. He had the knack to baffle the batsmen around the world with beguiling slower and unplayable cutters until his form took a dig following a recurring injury.
After the injury and surgery on his shoulder, Mustafizur never remains as consistent as he was early in his career. The inconsistency is widely exposed in the ongoing World Cup when his service matters most.
I think Mustafizur is gradually getting his best as he had done well in practice match and in the first match of the World Cup. But we have seen a mixed performance from him since then. It's because of his injury actually but he is going in the right direction and improving day by day, Former Bangladesh skipper Shahriar Nafees told a private TV channel ahead of Bangladesh's match against Sri Lanka.
He expected Mustafizur to hit back in form against Sri Lanka, a crucial match for Bangladesh to keep their semifinal hope alive.
After an epic beginning of his career, Mustafizur first got injured on his shoulder at England while playing for Sussex in the Natwest T20 Blast. In 2017 he once again suffered an ankle injury while playing football during the practice session that forced him to miss that year's BPL, a T20 series against Afghanistan and a Test series against West Indies.
After recovery, he decided to play the DPL but here he once again got injured while playing for Shinepukur. He only played two matches in that edition of DPL.
Thereafter he played a series against New Zealand but that old Mustafizur was nowhere to be seen. He bowled well in patches here before going through ups and downs in the Ireland triseries also.
Nafees said Mustafiz should break this shackle to show the rest of the World how good he really is.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)