Interviews

Published on February 6th, 2017 | by Sandipan Banerjee

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Exclusive interview – Mehedi Hasan Miraz keen on justifying his all-rounder tag

The past one year has been a roller-coaster ride for young Bangladesh all-rounder, Mehedi Hasan Miraz. From captaining the Bangladesh Under-19 side in the World Cup at home and winning the ‘Player of the Tournament’ award for his all-rounder efforts to the record-breaking 19-wicket haul in his debut Test series, this teenager has seen it all.

Now he is all set to face probably the stiffest challenge of his career — bowing his off-spinners against Virat Kohli and Co. in Bangladesh’s historic Test debut on Indian soil.

Along with Shakib al Hasan in the upcoming Test in Hyderabad, the 19-year old Miraz will be Mushfiqur Rahim’s wicket-taking option. However, the youngster himself doesn’t want to be tagged only as a spin-sensation, he will be taking the field at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium to justify his all-round skill.

At the age group level, Miraz had been regarded as a genuine all-rounder. Even in the last Under-19 World Cup, the left-hander scored 242 runs in six innings at 60.50. He batted in the middle order and often bailed his team out of difficult situations.

However, at the international arena, so far his batting skills are yet to be properly displayed. He has featured in four Test matches and in eight innings, the Khulna boy has only 20 runs. 1, 1, 1, 2, 0, 1, 10 and 4 — these are Mehedi’s contributions with the bat, wearing the Bangladesh senior jersey. Those who have seen the emergence of his career, know, Mehedi is a far, far better batsman than what these numbers are showing.

However, will these poor display with bat, keep him under an extra bit of pressure, when he will take the field against world’s number one ranked Test side?

Well, Mehedi doesn’t think so.

“I don’t think there will be pressure on me. Everybody is aware of my batting credentials at the junior level. Unfortunately, it is not happening in the international circuit. But I believe in my skills and soon I will score runs,” Mehedi, with a smile in his face was telling the author ahead of the much talked about fixture against India.

In fact, he is more excited to take on an opposition, which has the big names like Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane and others. According to Mehedi, this will be a big learning curve for him.

“I will try and do my best in this game for the country in this important match. By playing well [Against India] my confidence will increase.”

Meanwhile, in the coming Indian Premier League [IPL] Auction on February 20, Miraz is going to be one of the dark horses and just before the event, any good show in this Test match, might seal his fate in the cash-rich T20 league. But the youngster is not ready to think about that at this moment.

“If I get picked [in the IPL] I will definitely try and do well, but for now I am only thinking about playing well for my nation.”

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mm

is our guest writer. He is a cricket journalist by profession and admirer of this great sport by nature.



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