All eyes on Mustafiz

February 24, 2016

Mashrafee bin Murtaza’s press conference lasted for nearly 15 minutes and Mustafizur Rahman dominated nearly half of them. The progress of Mustafiz took the centre stage even during the press conference of Indian batsman Virat Kohli. Hardly a single player could dominate the talks in a way before a tournament as big as Asia Cup. But in his short career, Mustafiz proved himself as an exceptional player and he remained so before this tournament as well.
Kohli, whose India were at the receiving end of Mustifiz’s debut series burst, showered him with praises as they prepare to take on Bangladesh in the Asia Cup opener at Mirpur today.
‘Mustafizur has done really well in the past one year, if you see, since he played against us,’ Kohli said in the press conference on Tuesday. ‘He has bowled well for Bangladesh. It was exciting to see, a 19-year old, bowling slower balls and touching 140 clicks, he came on board and did really well.
‘To experience with the new ball he was bowling really good slower balls and cutters, so yeah, he brought in something different to the game, spiced the game up a bit more, which I think is a bit exciting.
‘It’s very important for the game to have bowlers to come in and trouble the batsman, because if you are planning in conditions like Bangladesh and a guy can come in and take four or five wickets and trouble the batsmen all over it makes the game more competitive,’ he said.
Mustafiz took 13 wickets in his three one-day internationals against India though Kohli was never dismissed off his bowling. The star opener still feels challenge facing the prodigious left-arm pacer, who left other batsmen all but clueless.
‘As a batsman also you get more competitive saying that I need to prepare differently and tackle him differently, so it improves your own game’, said Kohli, who himself is carrying a rich vein of form having scored 50, 59 not out and 90 not out in his last three Twenty20 internationals against Australia.
Kohli returned to the side after short break against Sri Lanka and was relishing the prospect of talented Mustafiz in the first match of Asia Cup.
‘He has bowled really well for him and he is obviously going to be a big factor for Bangladesh in the tournament,’ he added.
Despite the hype surrounding him, Bangladesh captain Mashrafee said Mustafiz remained completely unaffected.
‘I don’t think he will have any pressure from all these things,’ said Mashrafee.
‘He is not that kind who takes pressure through any kind of talking regarding him,’ he said.
‘He is a very confident guy who does not think about the opponents and this confidence took him ahead of others.
‘He can bowl the slower differently and we need to back him up to do well,’ said the skipper.

-With New Age input

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