Bangladesh Test skipper Mushfqur Rahim on Wednesday urged everyone to keep the expectation on spinner Mehedi Hasan in check as the Tigers were gearing up for the first Test against New Zealand in Wellington.
Mehedi claimed 12 wickets in Bangladesh’s last Test against England to steer the side to a stunning win, making him a sensation overnight, though he was not part of the team that has been humiliated in the one-day international and Twenty20 series in New Zealand.
Mushfiq had seen from close range how expectation can play a big impact on an emerging cricketer as he captained Tigers across all format for quite some time before the Bangladesh Cricket Board restricted his duty only to Tests.
‘Please don’t create huge expectation from Miraz [Mehedi Hasan] as this is his opening tour with the national side,’ Mushfiq told reporters in pre-match presser at Basin Reserve ahead of today’s first Test .
The Test skipper cited the example of Mustafizur Rahman, who had a similar stunning debut, albeit in different format, before he faced with some tough challenges on the following days.
‘Public tends to believe Mustafizur bowled badly when he took two or three wickets as they were expecting him to bowl in the same manner as he did on debut,’ he said.
Mushfiq was not entirely sure whether they would pick Mehedi or not in the opening game despite his performance in the previous Test match.
The team management was completely divided over playing Mehedi in the game as some officials preferred a seaming all-rounder in his slot while others were in his favour as a second spinner alongside Sakib al Hasan.
Coach Hathurusinghe was reportedly in favour of playing a seaming all rounder as he believed the pitch had very little to offer for a spinner while others opined that breeze in Basin Reserve means from one end a spinner would be effective.
Mushfiq said he always prefers to play a Test match with four specialist bowlers and seven batsmen.
‘Miraz is a smart operator,’ said Mushfiq, without dropping any hint of his inclusion. ‘That is why he played Test match at such an early stage.
‘In Bangladesh spinners play an attacking role but here it won’t be the same. If he plays he has to adapt with it, ‘said Mushfiq.
From his own experience while leading Tigers in Test at that venue earlier national selector Habibul Bashar said that picking up just one spinner can be self destructive.
‘From what I can remember from one end spinners do most part of the bowling as the blowing wind makes it difficult for pace bowlers to execute their skill to the fullest,’ said Bashar.
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