In an interview to Cricbuzz, Bangladeshi left arm quick Mustafizur Rahman has clarified that contrary to the word that goes around, he does have the desire to play all three formats of the game.
Mustafizur, who last played a Test match for Bangladesh on their New Zealand tour in March last year, said, “I want to play in all formats and I’m not sure how it came up. Look, you have to consider the endurance of the body as well and sometimes there are big tours comprising several matches and I am rested due to my minor injuries and all those things which the journalists do not know about, but this is how the word goes around (that I don’t want to play Test cricket). But it is not true that I don’t want to play Test cricket. I personally believe that if one bowler is good only in ODI or T20s, then he will not be considered as a great bowler because he has to be good in all formats.”
Mustafizur did admit that he prefers the shorter formats of the game due to the fact that they are completed within a day, and the pressure is relieved in a short span of time. He said, “It feels good to play one-day or T20 matches but that does not imply that I don’t want to play Test cricket. There is always a chance for bowlers to do well in Tests. Even if one spell goes bad, you will get a chance to bowl again. If one spell goes bad, you get a chance to do well in another spell. For example, in one spell you gave 50 in five overs but in another spell, you took three wickets by giving five runs in five overs. But in white ball Cricket, you don’t have this opportunity. In the case of white ball, you will bowl well in nine overs but if you bowl badly in one over it has a lot of effect on the team.”
Mustafizur made a grand entrance in International Cricket, with consecutive five-wicket hauls against India in June 2015. Since then, he has become an integral part of the national side with some more remarkable performances. In the absence of Mashrafe Mortaza, Mustafizur’s role in the team has been expected to change to a large extent as he will not only be the new leader of the pace attack but might also be called upon at the start for early breakthroughs, contrary to when he managed to survive on his slower cutters, coming in the middle overs and was given the responsibility in the death overs.
Mustafizur said that he is well aware of the impending change, and as a result, he is now trying to learn how to swing the ball instead of just depending upon his tried and tested methods. He said, “I was working on how to swing the ball. I was trying to bowl early against Zimbabwe so that if I get a wicket by bowling early then my team will benefit. Like what Mashrafe bhai does now because when he will leave, someone has to step up and take that position. That’s why I was trying to work with the swing and the variations as well. If I can do this up to first five overs (take a wicket at the start) then my team will also get the benefit and that is why I was working on it and focusing on bringing the ball into the batsman.”
“I’ve been playing for five years now, and if a new boy comes then I will share my experience with him and in that case, they will also benefit. It totally depends on whether you call it leading the way or helping out. In these five years, I have bowled in many tough places. I have bowled at tough times and I have bowled at easy times. Sharing these will benefit another player,” he added.