Minhajul: Mustafizur ready for Sri Lanka tour

“I now have full confidence to play the Sri Lanka series”

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin has indicated that left-arm seamer Mustafizur Rahman is on track to be picked for the national team’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka in March.

Mustafizur recently missed the two-Test series against New Zealand and the one-off Test against India as he was given more time to recover from the shoulder surgery he underwent in August last year.

In the limited overs series in New Zealand, the 21-year-old struggled to find his rhythm and finished with five wickets in four matches.

But, that no longer seems to be the case as Mustafizur took four wickets for South Zone in their Bangladesh Cricket League fixture against Central Zone, which ran from February 11 to 14.

“I am really impressed with the way he bowled in the second innings [against Central Zone],” Minhajul said. “I think he got back his rhythm, so there is no need for him to play the fourth-round match. You can only know whether he will be in the Test team or not when we announce it but I can say that he is ready to play the full series in Sri Lanka.”

Mustafizur himself admitted that he is fully fit and ready to start bowling for longer spells.

“I felt a little discomfort on my back but gradually everything was fine,” Mustafizur told the Daily Star. “I bowled 31 overs with ease. Playing two rounds of BCL matches helped me a lot to get back full confidence in my bowling.

“I now have full confidence to play the Sri Lanka series but the selectors and team management will take the decision about what would be best for me. I missed the Test in India so I am looking forward to Sri Lanka. Mentally I am also fresh now and I am happy with the way I bowled in the last round of the BCL.”

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) director Khaled Mahmud, however, pointed out that Mustafizur’s workload must be carefully managed in the near future.

“I am sure he can play in all three formats in Sri Lanka but we have to keep in mind that he has just returned from a major injury,” Mahmud said. “If we handle him with care, his career will be prolonged.”

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