'Test specialist' Mehidy Hasan savours ODI rankings rise

The Bangladesh off-spinner has climbed to No. 2 in the one-day bowlers’ rankings.

Mehidy Hasan made his Test debut in 2016 but it wasn't until 2018 that he became a regular in the Bangladesh ODI squad. - AP

Mehidy Hasan forged his reputation as a Test specialist early on in his career but the Bangladesh off-spinner has been rewarded for his hard work in the shorter formats as he climbed to No. 2 in the one-day bowlers’ rankings.

Mehidy made his Test debut in 2016 but it was not until 2018 that he became a regular in the Bangladesh ODI squad. In the latest official rankings released on Wednesday, the 23-year-old jumped three places to became only the third Bangladesh bowler, after Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur Razzak, to be in the top two in the ODI standings.

“I never thought I could reach No. 2 in the ODI rankings, so I am feeling great,” Mehidy told reporters.

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“I was a Test specialist when I started but I always wanted to play all the formats successfully. I wanted to contribute to the team when I started playing ODIs. I focused on the economy rate because that would keep me in the team and allow me to get breakthroughs. I understand that batsmen are in a rush to score runs in ODIs. I was more focused on the small things, what improvement will help the team and help me be in the team.”

Mehidy, known for his accuracy, took six wickets from seven matches in his maiden ODI World Cup in England two years ago, finishing as Bangladesh’s most economical bowler in the tournament.

“The 2019 World Cup gave me a lot of confidence, particularly in a country where there wasn't any spin tracks,” Mehidy said.

“I planned so that the batsmen couldn't dominate me, even if I didn’t take wickets. Small things make all the difference.”

Mehidy claimed seven wickets in the first two matches against Sri Lanka and will hope to bowl Bangladesh to a 3-0 series sweep in Friday’s final match in Dhaka.

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