For Bangladesh speedster Mustafizur Rahman this ongoing tour of Sri Lanka is some sort of a comeback series. He picked up a shoulder injury in July 2016 while playing for Sussex in England. The bowler went through a successful surgery later in August but only resumed the national duties in New Zealand, after a gap of six months.
However, despite featuring in two ODIs and two T20Is in New Zealand, the left-armer did not look at his prime in those matches. Later, he was rested for the Test series against the Kiwis and the one-off Test in India. Finally, after regaining his full fitness, Mustafizur was included in the Test squad for Sri Lanka tour, where he played both the both the games, bowled long spells and seemed to be at his usual best.
Injuries are part and parcel of a fast bowler but the important point is — how frequently he is getting injured?
Mustafizur’s previous track record in this regard is not that bad but experts believe, he should not stretch himself too far.
The pacer has a busy international schedule this year as Bangladesh are scheduled to play a lot of cricket. Along with that just after the limited-overs’ leg of the Sri Lanka tour, Mustafizur will have to look after his Indian Premier League (IPL) commitments for the defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad, which will be followed by the tri-series in Ireland and the all important Champions Trophy.
So, for the next three months, Mustafizur is playing continuous cricket. Will this affect his fitness?
Well, his skipper Mashrafe Mortaza believes, to remain fit for country’s future assignments, Mushtafizur should skip IPL, if needed. However, Mushtafizur himself thinks fitness won’t be an issue for him to play non-stop cricket.
“I don’t think it [fitness] will be an issue. I am working on my fitness,” in an exclusive chat with Cricketsoccer ahead of the first ODI of the three-match series against Sri Lanka at the Ranagiri International Cricket Stadium, the Satkhira boy said.
“Whenever I play, there is a lot of expectation on me. So I am trying to remain fit, to be with the team. I know when I am around, the entire squad gets motivated,” he explained further.
During Champions Trophy, Mustafizur is going to be Bangladesh’s prime weapon in the English conditions. So Bangladesh’s fortunes in that eight-team event will depend heavily on how this left-arm seamer bowls. Now it will be interesting to notice how the youngster handles this work pressure.