Laxman lavishes praise on Mustafizur

"He is very confident. His work ethic is fantastic. He is a street-smart bowler. He has three-four variations at the start; he has got three-four variations at the death." said the former Indian batsman.

Mustafizur Rahman celebrates the dismissal of Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Andre Russell (not in pic).   -  K.V.S. Giri

When V.V.S. Laxman lavishes praise on someone, you ought to leave everything aside and lend him an ear. And, when the said cricketer happens to be a bowler, then you must not miss out on even a word. For, you will lose count of the number of bowlers who’ve bowed down to him.

At the pre-match press conference on Wednesday evening, Mustafizur Rahman’s stock soared after team Sunrisers Hyderabad team mentor Laxman praised the Bangladeshi left-arm pacer no end. All of 20, the lanky quick has turned many a head since making his international debut in June last year. That he rattled India with a five-for in his maiden ODI and a six-wicket haul in the subsequent game was incredible. Plying his trade in the IPL for the first time, Rahman has already made the right noises by picking up four wickets in three games.

“Mustafizur is an extremely talented bowler,” Laxman said. “I have seen him since he made his debut for Bangladesh against India. Working with him over the last two weeks, I know why he is so good, especially with his precision and variation. But you also have to have the ability to execute that when you are under a lot of pressure. A lot of good talented cricketers aren’t able to do that when they are under pressure. However, Mustafizur does that regularly. And he works hard on his skills,” Laxman added.

Rahman has a new name: ‘The Fizz’. At least that’s what he’s known as in the wide world of the internet. After dishing out his cutters to get rid of AB de Villiers and Shane Watson in the opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Rahman sent Andre Russell’s stumps tumbling when Sunrisers Hyderabad took on Kolkata Knight Riders. His last wicket was Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya, also bowled.

Laxman reckons Rahman will have a long and successful career. “He is very confident. His work ethic is fantastic. He is a street-smart bowler. He has three-four variations at the start; he has got three-four variations at the death. He has got total control over his variations. It is good to have him in our team and I’m sure he will add a lot of value to our team. For someone who has not even completed one year in international cricket, to have the kind of expertise in doing the kind of thing he is doing is fantastic to see,” he said.

The batting great also credited Bangladesh head coach Chandika Hathurasingha. “You must also credit the Bangladesh support staff. Chandika Hathurasingha (Bangladesh head coach) has done a fantastic job. The side has transformed mentally (under him). They always had potential, but during the 2015 World Cup, there was a shift in the mindset. You could see that they were playing to win and they could live up to the potential. There is a myth that they can play only in conditions that are similar to Bangladesh. But because of the fast bowlers they have at their disposal, I believe they can play all over the world.”

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