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Mustafizur keen on improvement


Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur Rahman believes that missing out on a national red-ball contract can be a blessing in disguise for him as it proves he ought to improve in the coming days to be counted again in the same league as his teammates.

Mustafizur, who had been considered the country’s most talented pace bowler across formats only a few years ago, had a reality check in the recent past after being axed from the Test contract list. The left-armer last played a Test match in New Zealand in March 2019 and since then hasn’t been able to make it into Bangladesh’s playing XI. His demotion to B category in the white-ball national contract only indicates all is not well with him and Mustafizur admitted it without any hesitation.

“It’s good for me because now I’ve understood that I need to improve as I will not be able to make it in the team with what I have,” Mustafizur told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Wednesday (March 18). “Now I will try to improve so that I can take my bowling to the next level and so that I can play in all formats.

“I can make a comeback in the Test team only if my hands start to work better. Now I am trying something new because now everyone knows about me. At first they didn’t know about me and I could easily get a wicket but now it has been a bit difficult for me,” he added.

Mustafizur added that he fails to find success on foreign soil largely because he does not get the help that he receives on home pitches, and added that now he lacks confidence in his trademark yorker. “The ball grips well on home wickets but outside it is not same while the off-cutter changes its direction quite well at home but that is not the case elsewhere,” Mustafizur said. “There are some wickets where, after having a look, you can say that it will produce 350 runs while there will be others with 250 runs.

“That 250-run wickets have been good for me but sometimes there will be bad days and on such cases even a favourable wicket may not help me. Now, there will always be ups and downs in cricket, you have to accept that.”

Mustafizur did not hesitate in admitting that his indifferent form is taking a toll on his confidence and he is working to find his mojo again. “My yorker is not the same like I used to deliver and I don’t have that confidence [anymore], but I’m trying. I think there is problem somewhere. Now it’s going great again but still I do not get that confidence. I think there is something with my hand. I feel more practice is required because I have to make myself better since It’s been a while since I’ve produced something impressive.”

Mustafizur, in a desperate attempt, opted to come to the academy premises to hone his bowling skill all alone while his teammates are staying inside their houses as all the domestic tournaments have been postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Mustafizur is now focussed on bringing the ball into the batsman and added that he implemented it during the ODIs against Zimbabwe after working on his new skill-set for two weeks.

“Especially in the first 10 overs of the ODIs, I tried to get the ball into the batsman and though it was not that huge but couple of deliveries were very good. It won’t happen in one day. I worked for two weeks and hopefully will get better day by day.”

Mustafizur also revealed that the new bowling coach Ottis Gibson has advised him with a new grip but emphasized more on his wrist position. “I worked with Ottis Gibson but he did not give too many suggestions. He only showed me how to grip but didn’t say anything about my hand position but asked me to keep the wrist firm and in the right position,” he concluded.

Source: Cricbuzz

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