Nicknamed “Fizz”, Mustafizur Rahman will be spearheading the Bangladesh pace attack in the United Kingdom. Despite all his injury concerns and scratchy performances of late, Mustafizur, with all his variations will certainly play a crucial role in Bangladesh’s scheme of things in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
The left-armer is leading the Bangladesh attack since his international debut right after ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. As a 19-year old, his back-to-back performances against Pakistan, India and South Africa in the 2015-16 home season made him almost an overnight superstar in his country. In the following year, he was a part of the championship winning Sunrisers Hyderabad team in the Indian Premier League and took 17 wickets in 16 games, which helped him to bag the ”Emerging Player of the Year” award.
In his early days, Mustafizur did not have much pace. So, in order to sustain on slow-low Bangladeshi pitches, he started to develop the left-armer's off-cutter. And later in his career, this particular variation became one of his trademarks.
Mustafizur’s international debut came in one-off T20I against Pakistan at Mirpur and he took 2/20, including the wicket of Shahid Afridi. From there, the southpaw never looked back.
Meanwhile, due his heavy workload for his country as well as various T20 leagues around the world, Mustafizur has suffered a lot of injury issues in the past few years. And it all started with a shoulder injury in 2016, during his stint with Sussex. The left-armer was out of the action for a while and later, after coming back, he was troubled by a hamstring problem.
But these injuries and frequent breaks from the game have taken a toll on Mustafizur’s bowling. He has lost a bit of pace, which makes him a little more predictable than earlier. And going into the 2019 Cricket World Cup, this is going to be Bangladesh’s prime concern. Over there, he is expected to take the new ball. But Mustafizur’s prime role will be in the death overs, where he is required to put all his experience of playing franchise-based T20 cricket around the world into play.