Mohammad Saifuddin is a genuine seam bowling all-rounder, who can prove to be a more than handy option for the think-tank during Bangladesh’s campaign in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. Much like India's Hardik Pandya, Saifuddin is a powerful hitter down the order, which increases his value in this important campaign. As a bowler, he is much disciplined and can test the batsmen with his pace and accuracy on helpful conditions, which he is expected to get in the United Kingdom.
Saifuddin first burst onto the scene three years back when he played a crucial role for the Bangladesh U-19s in the 2016 Youth World Cup. His team won five out of the six matches and finished third in the competition and with 13 scalps; he was Bangladesh's highest wicket-taker. And since then the Bangladesh Cricket Board has started grooming this youngster, perhaps keeping this 2019 edition of the World Cup in mind.
Before featuring in that U-19 World Cup, Saifuddin had already made his First-Class debut. Meanwhile, after the U-19s, his form dipped a bit. There were questions surrounding his fitness. Also, his bowling action was under the scanner.
It took a year or so for Saifuddin to get things sorted. He eventually graduated to the international level and made his T20 international debut against Sri Lanka in April 2017. Later that year, Saifuddin earned his maiden ODI call-up in South Africa. And soon, he started to show his all-round talent with both bat and ball at the highest level.
In Bangladesh's World Cup team, Saifuddin adds a different dimension. On English conditions, he has to be one of Bangladesh's first-choice options the playing XI. Basically, it will be a toss-up between him and a spin-bowling all-rounder like Mosaddek Hossain or Mehidy Hasan.
However, in venues like Nottingham, Lords and Cardiff, where the fast bowlers tend to get some lateral movement from the surface, having an extra medium pace option seems like a more suitable option for Bangladesh. A lot will now depend on his performances in the tri-series in the Ireland as well as during two warm-up games against Pakistan and India prior to the World Cup.