POST TIME: 14 November, 2019 00:00 00 AM
India count Mustafiz when his spot is under threat
BSS, Indore

India count Mustafiz when 
his spot is under threat

When India captain Virat Kohli rated left-arm fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman as their threat, Bangladesh looked in dilemma whether to include him in the first XI for the first Test, starting today in Indore’s Holkar Stadium. Mustafizur was the weakest link of Bangladesh’s bowling in the three-match T20 series as he leaked runs in abundance when the other fast bowlers kept the things right.

Known as ‘Cutter Master’ for his ability to con the batsmen with mysterious slower cutter, slower, leg-cutter and slower bouncer, Mustafizur now is the bowler looking like out-of-sort and jaded. He has no performance to speak for him in the last two years as he struggles to keep him fit amid numerous injuries.

But Kohli rates Mustafizur for the reason that they often don’t get the chance to play the left arm fast bowler in the practice match or net.

“He [Mustafizur] is a very good bowler. We’ve played against him quite a bit. But red ball…I think any left-arm seamer is a very different kind of bowler that we’re used to playing a lot,” Kohli said.

“So yeah, it just requires extra focus because you don’t play left-arm seamers that regularly when you don’t have them in your team. So it’s a challenge, but we must look forward to those challenges. Not that we get bundled out against left-arm seam, but we’ve found it more difficult purely because we don’t play them on a regular basis. So he’s going to be a threat, he’s going to be a key player for Bangladesh,” he added.

“He’s an experienced bowler and he’s been around for a while, and he knows the Indian batsmen as well, having played the IPL and so on. But we’ve played against him a lot as well.”

When Kohli has something to say about Mustafizur, Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque couldn’t give any guarantee of the fast bowler’s place in the team. But there was a time when Mustafizur’s place was certain.

“I can’t say what will be the squad. We are yet to discuss on it. Let’s see whether he plays or not,” Mominul said.