Ever since he started playing in the age-level groups, Mehedi Hasan Miraz had that X-factor in him whenever he walked into any ground.
After several promising displays, Miraz's crowning moment came in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year when he was named player of the tournament, prompting many to label him the next Shakib al Hasan for his sheer talent.
It was no surprise therefore, for anyone who followed him closely over the years to see him in action on Thursday when he picked up five wickets in his Test debut against a formidable England side. Miraz was booming with confidence, a rare sight indeed for a teenager.
The 18-year old became the youngest ever Bangladeshi to bag five wickets on debut, bettering Sohag Gazi's record, ending the opening day's play with brilliant bowling figures of 5/64 from his 33 overs.
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Bangladesh's Mehedi Hasan Miraz leads his team off the field following his brilliant Test debut DHAKA TRIBUNE
It was all surreal for Miraz, who informed that he never dreamed of taking five wickets in his Test bow.
“I never thought that I would get five wickets in my debut match. And I didn't even think that it would be this outstanding. I thought I would rather have an average performance where I would take one or two wickets and score 30-odd runs. But when things go well, it actually goes pretty well which was the case for me,” a jubilant Miraz told the media.
“Even our coach (Chandika Hathursingha) said to me that I should not think of taking five or six wickets and try to bowl on the right spot. And things went pretty well for me. All thanks to almighty Allah,” he said.
According to Miraz, he was bowling outside the trajectory of the wickets initially but skipper Mushfiqur Rahim told him to bowl in the line of the wicket, which would in turn create more chances for him to pick up wickets.
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Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim gives his blessings to debutant Mehedi Hasan Miraz who had a stellar bow in international cricket DHAKA TRIBUNE
He clean bowled debutant Ben Duckett to get his first wicket in international cricket but Miraz said his fifth dismissal, that of Jonny Bairstow, was his favourite scalp of the day.
“My fifth wicket of the day where I bowled Bairstow was my favourite one. The ball skidded on to hit the stumps. The batsman was unable to understand the delivery and interestingly, even I didn't understand what happened at that time,” said Miraz, sporting a cheeky smile.
The Khulna cricketer informed that he had the experience of bowling with the new ball from his age-level days. The youngster bowled a whopping 33 overs during the opening day's play. Miraz stated that he used to bowl long spells with Bangladesh left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak for Khulna in the National Cricket League, which helped him tremendously.
He also gave credit to the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s age-level coach Sohel Islam, who mentored the youngster during his age-level days.
“One thing I would like to mention is that I would like to thank Sohel sir who was our assistant coach in the U-19 level. He guided me from the U-15 days. He discussed with me continuously how to improve my bowling. I also tried to contact him [Thursday] as I am feeling really good. I believe he will also feel the same,” he added.