Mehedi hailed as next big thing


Wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim on Monday acknowledged youngster Mehedi Hasan as the potential next big player for Bangladesh cricket after the latter displayed glimpses of his batting ability in the second Test against Zimbabwe in Dhaka.
Mehedi struck career-best 68 not out and shared a record 144-run with Mushfiq for the eighth wicket stand to take Bangladesh in a commendable situation at stumps on the second day.
Mehedi, who demonstrated his all-round ability from age-levels and also had the experience of leading Bangladesh Under-19 team, previously failed to deliver with bat consistently since his arrival in the national side in 2016.
However, it didn’t take long for the cricketer to establish him as an ultimate choice in all three formats with his off-spin bowling and he now has started playing his role as late order batsman, bringing his all-round ability into play.
‘The main thing is his focus and his determination – sometimes he gets out to silly mistakes. But the way he played and the potential he has I think he can be the next big player for Bangladesh,’ Mushfiq told reporters in the press-conference in Mirpur.
‘I always enjoy batting with Miraz [Mehedi Hasan] because he is a lovely fellow. One of the funny characters and it is always enjoyable to have a player like him on the field.
‘And the way he was explaining things to me, it felt like he was the one batting on 200 and I was on 30. I always tell him that he has lots of potential,’ he added.
On Monday, Mehedi came at the crease when Bangladesh lost two quick wickets of Mahmudullah (36) and Ariful Haque (four) after the lunch break, but he started to play in a positive frame of mind since he faced the first ball of pacer Kyle Jarvis.
The 21-year old rotated the strike smartly and struck the odd boundaries, allowing Mushfiq to play devoid of pressure.
He completed his second Test fifty in style, hitting a six over long-on off Sikandar Raza that showed his quality as batsman.
‘He knows everything – if he plays a ball away from his body he comes and tells me, ‘Bhai, I actually just played away from my body.’ I tell him that ‘why did you do it when you know?’ So I always have fun with him,’ said Mushfiq.