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Ban vs SL 2021 – Mehidy Hasan Miraz on his rise to No. 2 in the ODI rankings

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‘I planned so that the batsmen couldn’t dominate me, even if I didn’t take wickets,’ says Bangladesh offspinner

Mehidy Hasan Miraz believes that his appetite to play in all three formats is the reason for his climb up to No. 2 in the ICC’s rankings for bowlers in ODIs. He is only the third Bangladeshi to break into the top-two of these rankings, the first in ten years.

Miraz broke into the top ten in January this year after he took seven wickets against West Indies. After his exploits against Sri Lanka over the week, he rose from No. 4 to No 2, just 12 rating points behind the leader Trent Boult.

“I was a Test specialist when I started but I always wanted to play all the formats successfully,” Miraz said. “I wanted to contribute to the team when I started playing ODIs. I focused on the economy rate, because that would keep me in the team and allow me to get breakthroughs. I understand that batsmen are in a rush to score runs in ODIs. I was more focused on the small things, what improvement will help the team, help me be in the team.”

Miraz said the turning point in his career came in three years ago, on a tour of the Caribbean, when he took only three wickets but had an economy rate of 4.06. He then took six wickets in the 2019 World Cup in conditions that were far from ideal for a fingerspinner.

“I became an ODI regular from the 2018 away series in West Indies. The 2019 World Cup gave me a lot of confidence, particularly in a country where there wasn’t any spin tracks. I planned so that the batsmen couldn’t dominate me, even if I didn’t take wickets. Small things make all the difference. It worked in a few matches – against South Africa, New Zealand and England.”

Miraz came under scrutiny when he took just three wickets in the one-off Test against Afghanistan in 2019, and had unflattering figures of 1-125 against India in the Indore Test that same year. He lost his place for the second Test in Kolkata, but later came on as a concussion substitute. Through those bad days though, he still had the unflinching support of his team-mates.

“I never thought I could reach No. 2 in the ODI rankings, so I am feeling great,” Miraz said. “I want to thank my team-mates and team management, who supported me a lot. Everyone in the team is happy for me, which is really pleasing for me.

“I really love it when my team-mates back me up particularly when I am down. I think it is a massive thing for a player. I don’t think I would have come this far if my team-mates didn’t back me in my bad days,” he said.

Miraz’s rise in the rankings is also proof that there is talent even beyond the big four in Bangladesh cricket – Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah – who have again come to the fore in the ODIs against Sri Lanka. Miraz said that the lesser experienced players should take lessons from how these players conduct themselves.

“There was a time when we used to idolise foreign cricketers but now world-class cricketers are in front of our eyes. We are playing together. We didn’t bat well in the last two matches, but the way Mushfiq bhai and [Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai put together those partnerships, it is worth watching.

“Shakib bhai‘s World Cup performance, how Tamim bhai became a top opening batsman and how [Mominul Haque] Sourav bhai became successful in Tests – these are things we can definitely learn from,” he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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Bangladesh unhappy as Australia’s Covid-19 demands force Mushfiqur Rahim to miss home T20Is

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According to the terms agreed to between the two boards, the senior batter can’t enter the Dhaka bio-bubble now

Bangladesh are unhappy with Mushfiqur Rahim‘s enforced absence from the Bangladesh squad for the upcoming T20Is at home against Australia, a direct result of the Covid-19 protocols demanded by Cricket Australia. The word “unfair” is floating around in some private conversations among players and BCB officials, and the general feeling is that CA has asked for too much, and the BCB has gone a bit too far in accepting the demands.
The two boards had agreed to include their respective bio-bubbles in Zimbabwe and the West Indies as part of the mandatory pre-series ten-day quarantine in Dhaka. But Rahim had to leave Harare for home after both his parents contracted Covid-19. As a result, he can’t be in the Dhaka bio-bubble now. What has upset the Bangladesh team even more is that while Rahim has not been allowed to re-enter the bubble, the players who have returned from Zimbabwe have had to do so after going through four airports – Harare, Johannesburg, Doha and Dhaka – with potentially greater exposure to the virus, but there have been no objections there.

“It is unfair what happened with Mushfiq,” a member of Bangladesh’s tour party to Zimbabwe, told ESPNcricinfo. “We came in a commercial flight passing through three airports so I don’t know if it makes much sense to keep Mushfiq out of the series. He went back home from the middle of a tour for a family problem. So to not allow him to enter the quarantine after just two or three days, is not right.”



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SL vs IND, 2nd T20I, 2021

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He trusted his lower-order team-mates to play big shots if he took the game deep

Bat long and take the game deep. These were the things Dhananjaya de Silva was telling himself during his match-winning 40 not out off 34 balls on Wednesday when he helped deliver Sri Lanka’s first T20I victory in six matches.

Not known for his hitting capability, the match situation was perhaps made for de Silva, who struck only two boundaries – a six and a four – and focused instead on running singles and twos. With a severely depleted India making only 132, Sri Lanka did not require huge fireworks with the bat to chase it down.

“This is what I’m meant to do for the team,” de Silva said after the match. “In the previous match as well, what I’d been told was to bat 20 overs from one side. I wasn’t able to do that in the previous game. Today was my day and I did that. If I can bat at a run-a-ball until the final overs, letting others attack around me, I can raise my strike rate towards the finish as well. That was the coach, captain and selectors’ plan.”



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The Hundred – Jofra Archer not expected to link up with Southern Brave this week

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Team hopeful of having the pacer for the last four games as he continues a gradual comeback from elbow surgery

Southern Brave are not expecting to have Jofra Archer available for either of their next two men’s Hundred fixtures as he continues a gradual comeback from elbow surgery.

Archer has played twice for Sussex in the last 10 days, first bowling three overs in their Vitality Blast win against Kent and a further six against Oxfordshire in a 50-over warm-up match last Tuesday, but has not linked up with the Southern Brave squad since the start of the Hundred and is not expected to do so this week.

“We’re hearing stuff from the medical teams at the ECB and Sussex,” James Vince, the Brave’s men’s captain, said after Tuesday’s defeat to Welsh Fire. “I think he’s maybe undergoing a jab or something yesterday or today, and then hopefully we might get him for the last four [games] or something.

“It’s one of those where I’m staying out of it and leaving it to the experts in that area. Hopefully we do get him because it would be a big boost for us, but if we don’t, we’ve got guys who are capable here.”



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