Laxman: Mustafizur is one of the best death bowlers

"He’s a lovely human being, a total team man, with huge confidence and plans for every batsman he bowls to. Ask him how things are and he’ll say ‘everything’s good, no worries," says V.V.S. Laxman

In T20 cricket, Mustafizur Rahman is absolute gold dust, said Aakash Chopra.   -  K. Bhagya Prakash

Mustafizur Rahman’s career took wings from the back of his big brother’s bike. Those lifts to Satkhira for training became the bridge to a Dhaka pace bowling camp call-up and soon enough to a place in the Bangladesh team, across formats.

For all the big names he has gunned down on a cricket field, ‘The Fizz’ is a man of few words. Only a couple of sentences escaped in his native Bengali when accepting the man of the match on Saturday night. Language barriers silence him, but cannot stop the smile that easily breaks out.

Sunrisers’ teammates tease him for he knows not a word of Hindi, but is hooked to Bollywood music.

“He’s a lovely human being, a total team man, with huge confidence and plans for every batsman he bowls to. Ask him how things are and he’ll say ‘everything’s good, no worries,” says V.V.S. Laxman.

The Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor-coach Tom Moody and skipper David Warner rely on Google translator to talk to the 20-year-old. To empathise with the talented tearaway, they even speculated on how they’d fare in a team meeting of the Spanish soccer league.

“All the attention and adulation hasn’t gone to his head,” observed Laxman, “For back home, cricketers are super stars. A lot will depend on how he’s managed in Bangladesh and more importantly, stays injury-free considering his heavy work loads.”

As Bangladesh fast bowling coach Heath Streak cautioned, “He’s still very young. We have to be careful. We can’t expect him to take five wickets every time. He has shown his potential. If we look after him and support him, he will be a big match-winner for us.”

“While plying the fast bowler’s trade, Mustafizur thinks like a spinner. For one ball doesn’t resemble another”, noted Harimohan Paruvu, author of ‘The Men Within - A Cricketing Tale’ — India’s first cricket novel which was also made into ‘Golconda High School’ — a Telugu movie.

“Use of the wobbly seam may be unconventional but he gets the ball to move. His flexibility is outstanding, transforming his craft into art,” added Harimohan, who was part of Hyderabad’s Ranji Trophy winning 1986-87 squad.

“In T20 cricket, Mustafizur is absolute gold dust,” gushed former India opener Aakash Chopra.

“While he can be countered defensively, it’s really tough to hit his off-cutters that tend to stop and go away,” he reasoned.

The willowy speedster exploits every inch of the return crease to mount his angled assaults, a whippy action often leaving batsmen dazed and confused.

“Mustafizur is one of the best death bowlers I have seen,” said V.V.S. Laxman, “Tormenting even top batsmen on flat tracks favouring them much more. To know when, in what situation or condition or to which batsman to deploy the many variations in his arsenal, makes him lethal.”

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