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Old April 7, 2016, 06:09 PM
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aklemalp aklemalp is offline
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Default Mustafizur in IPL- A New Frontier

One cutter, two cutters. Slow cutter, fast cutter. Mustafizur Rahman, more commonly known by the masses as the Fizz. I call him The Prince of Mirpur.

Ever since he's made his entry into the world stage, he's been a bowler who's one step ahead of the batsman. He loves this chess game between bat and ball. Every time that he has taken a wicket, his smiles turn to grins and he celebrates with the customary clap of his hands like he is a spectator. The world got to see part of this ritual in the recently concluded T20 world cup.

The familiar celebration by Mustafizur

He had a protracted world cup campaign; for most of the qualifying stages, he was unavailable due to a side strain injury. He played his first match of the world cup against current 50-over world champs, Australia. There were rumors that he was not 100% fit prior to the match, but the coach and captain had no choice but to include him after they lost Taskin Ahmed to a ban. He dismissed captain Steve Smith with his signature cutter- a delivery that Smith will remember very keenly. Smith was his first world cup victim; one of the most consistent batsman in world cricket at the moment.

Next up was hosts India, a match most Bangladeshi fans would want to forget... I'll make this brief. Mustafizur had a decent showing and picked up two scalps: Rohit and Jadeja.

He would save his best for last against tournament favorites(at that time) New Zealand. A career-best figure of 5 for 22, included the prized scalp of skipper Kane Williamson. It was an inconsequential match and Bangladesh lost comfortably, succumbing to the strong bowling lineup of the Kiwis. Bangladesh recorded their lowest T20 total while The Prince of Mirpur was scaling mountains.

So at this juncture, Mustafizur finds himself settling into his IPL team- Sunrisers Hyderabad. Bangladesh cricketers in the IPL are a huge and a rare thing.

In the Sunrisers' squad, Mustafizur will be sharing the dressing room with the likes of David Warner, Eoin Morgan, Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh, and skipper Shikhar Dhawan. The most prominent feature in this squad is that there are two other left-arm pacers who are experienced and celebrated on the world stage: Trent Boult and Ashish Nehra.

Tom Moody, the coach of the Sunrisers had very encouraging words for Mustafizur and he's very confident with him in the team. "I feel he[ Mustafizur] is more than comfortable and happy in big match situations. We have full confidence that he will adapt and adapt quickly.", said Moody.

If Mustafizur is going to play an integral role in the structure of the team, then he will have to be used in conditions that favor his style of bowling. I predict that most of the pitches in the IPL are going to be flat and the Fizz will have to make the most of the opportunities presented.

Unlike many of his fans, I welcome this new frontier that Mustafizur will be exposed to. The potential of his wicket taking ability and his very humble demeanor is a good recipe for him to be a fan favorite among the Sunrisers' fan base. Exposure allows more people to see him; it is a positive thing. I look forward to this.

So what will be a good matchup? Kolkata Knight Riders' Shakib versus Sunrisers' Mustafizur? Just imagine Shakib coming into the latter stages of KKR's inning and trying to up the scoring rate, and Mustafizur playing spoil-sport to Shakib's ambitions and knocking his middle stump out of the ground! Imagine the celebrations...

There are many other prized matchups that Mustafizur will face. I do hope that he takes the most out of the competitiveness and leave the tournament with skills learned, respect earned, and wisdom gained.

I wish him all the best and hope he makes everyone proud with his brand of cricket. Go Mustafizur!!! Go Fizz!!! Show them what The Prince of Mirpur is all about!!!!
“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”
― Jalaluddin Mevlana Rumi - مولوی

Last edited by aklemalp; April 12, 2016 at 11:33 AM..
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