"Many of them are going to play him for the first time, which we have seen is difficult for any batsman," Mushfiqur said of Mustafizur    Getty Images (File Photo)
“Many of them are going to play him for the first time, which we have seen is difficult for any batsman,” Mushfiqur said of Mustafizur Getty Images (File Photo)

Making a comeback to Test cricket after more than a year, Bangladesh seam bowler Mustafizur Rahman will play a vital role with his bowling in the upcoming series against Sri Lanka, as confirmed by captain Mushfiqur Rahim. Dinesh Chandimal remains the only player among Sri Lanka’s 15-man squad who has faced Mustafizur before and the unfamiliar sense of his game tactic to the other players just adds up to the threat posed by Mustafizur against the hosts. Full cricket Scorecard: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka, 1st Test at Galle International Stadium, Galle

Mustafizur last played a Test in 2015, against South Africa, after which he has been plagued by injuries, restricting him to play only some limited-overs matches in New Zealand before he was excused for the one-off Test against India in Hyderabad last month. The series against Sri Lanka will also mark the first time that Mustafizur and Mehedi Hasan are available to play for the same Test.

Talking to ESPNCricinfo, a delighted Mushfiqur said that having both the players in the bowling attack is a huge advantage for the team. “We have Mustafizur now with Shakib and Mehedi who have done well together already. The type of bowler he is, Mustafizur will make them [Sri Lanka] work hard on this wicket. Many of them are going to play him for the first time, which we have seen is difficult for any batsman,” he added.

Since the last few games, Bangladesh has been pointed out for losing chances in New Zealand and Hyderabad, and the captain speaks of paying attention on the fielding front. “We don’t want to provide batsmen with one or two lives. We are focusing harder this time, to do better than the last two series,” he said adding that the team is also trying to adjust to the heat, so that in order to be well prepared for the game.

He has been asked to give up on his wicketkeeping, and focus on one discipline. On this, he replies though he will do what he is told to for the benefit of the team, but it will be a different feeling for him to do so. “I have said it repeatedly that while keeping I understood the wicket better, which helped me as a batsman,” he said contributing to the importance of the discipline.

The team, which has been criticised of throwing away games in last few series, will hopefully use the practice of last two weeks in Galle, is what Mushfiqur believes, adding that one has to play big innings in Tests whether one is in the top or middle order. “Our batsmen are trying hard, but sometimes they haven’t been able to do it. Over the last two weeks they have put in a lot of effort, and I hope it is reflected on our performance in the game,” an optimistic Mushfiqur concluded.