Perhaps the time spent in the dug-out of the Indian Premier League in his second season for Sunrisers Hyderabad may have provided Bangladesh pace bowling sensation Mustafizur Rahman enough time to recover and re-generate his usual instinct in the ongoing tri-nation series in Ireland.
After facing the hurdle of undergoing a shoulder injury back in August last year, the 21-year old did struggle in his comeback in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand earlier this year. Although Mustafizur did pick up three wickets, he gave away 62 runs from his 10 overs in the first ODI and remained expensive throughout the series, besides taking valuable wickets.
The cricketer from Satkhira was finding it difficult to adjust and continued being expensive with the ball in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka where he picked up six wickets at an economy rate of more than six runs per over, which does not justify his talent.
The young fast bowler played just one match in the IPL for Hyderabad and was overlooked after he gave away 34 runs from 2.4 overs and remained wicket-less. He later returned home.
All eyes are on Mustafizur as the Tigers' 2017 Champions Trophy mission gets closer. And the tri-series in Ireland, also including New Zealand, was the best time for the champion bowler to return to his groove ahead of the flagship event.
He did exactly what was required of him. Mustafizur, the master at deceiving the batsmen with the art of slower deliveries, was instrumental against New Zealand in the first ODI and despite the remaining Bangladeshi bowlers proving to be ineffective, the Satkhira cricketer picked up 2/33 from his nine overs.
Mustafizur continued from where he had left off against the host and displayed an array of majestic cutters to outfox the Irish batsmen, ending up picking 4/23 from his nine overs, including two maidens, at an economy rate of 2.55 to bundle out Ireland for just 181.
Since his shoulder surgery, Mustafizur has registered some below par performances. However, interestingly, the left-arm seamer, who has played eight ODIs since then, has picked up 16 wickets at an average of 20 and economy rate of under five runs per over.
But despite the outstanding stats, there were questions whether Mustafizur had lost his previous “Fizz” in his bowling. But the performances in the tri-series from the left-arm pacer will definitely mum all his critics and the Bangladesh fans will hope he will continue his magic in the Champions Trophy.
Before surgery (June-November, 2015)
After surgery (December 2016-May 2017)