Bangladesh banking on young Mustafizur at home

 Mustafizur Rahman is easily the hottest fast bowler in the sub-continent at the moment. The innocuous looking 20-year-old had wreaked havoc for the famed India batting line-up during their previous visit here for the ODI series.

The youngster enjoys the confidence of his captain Mashrafe Mortaza who believes no amount of home work could break the rhythm of this young medium-pacer.

The left-arm Rahman was picked against the visiting Indians last year and became only the second bowler after Brian Vitori to take five-wicket hauls in his first two ODIs. His slow off-cutters, while not changing the speed of his arm, have become a mystery for the batsmen.

"Mustafiz (Rahman) has many variations of his slow cutters.  It shows how confident he is about the execution part.  He does not focus on opposition batsmen but on what he knows best. You can do your homework against Mustafiz but it might not work," Mortaza  told reporters.

The Bangladesh captain was confident that Rahman’s sole focus surrounds his bowling. "As captain, it is easier for me to guide a boy who has no inclination towards external factors. It helps him in not feeling any pressure.  He is scared of only one thing - when I am bowling from the opposite end," Mortaza quipped.

Even Virat Kohli couldn’t hide his excitement for Rahman. “He can bowl slower balls alongwith bowling at 140 kmph which was different experience for us. With the new ball he was bowling really good slower balls and cutters. He brought in something different to the game, spiced the game up a bit more which is exciting,” he said. “It is very important for the game to have bowlers who come in and trouble the batsmen. If you playing in conditions like Bangladesh, and a guy can come in and take four to five wickets and trouble the batsmen, it makes the game more competitive. As a batsman also you get more competitive.”

Mortaza, however, admitted that Rahman alone can’t win matches for them.  "It is a different format and Mustafizur alone cannot win us matches.  Our T20 record has not been that great but that does not mean we can't improve. This tournament is our chance to prepare for the big event (World T20),” he said.

“India's batting is a challenge for all formats but we have to play very confidently, without any fear, with freedom.”

Mortaza said the strength of the Indian batting would compensate the speculated absence of M S Dhoni. "The batting order they have, it won't bother them so much. He (Dhoni) is a tremendous captain and player. Their batting order is outstanding, one of the best in the world. Still we are planning with Dhoni in mind."

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