4. BANGLADESH’S METEORIC RISE AND A ‘KID’ NAMED MUSTAFIZUR RAHMAN
Bangladesh has long been an allegory of David when it comes to the sphere of cricket, often looked down upon as sprats by the big fat bullies or the so called ‘Goliaths’. After hanging around the international circuit for 19 long years, the Bangla Tigers have apparently formulated a winning strategy using which they have out gloried some of the best teams in business. First they whitewashed a resurgent Pakistan side 3-0 in April and further enhanced their reputation as giant killers by defeating India 2-1 in a home series in June. Later in July, they would go on to defeat a sturdy South African side 2-1 in yet another home Test series. They also managed to restrict the Proteas to an unanticipated 0-0 draw in the Test series which followed the 3 match ODI series. Even though, cynics may argue that the success of the Bangladeshis can solely be attributed to the 50 overs format, their accomplishments in no way can be challenged given the fact that they have made the cut for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. Bangladesh currently stands 7th on the ICC ODI rankings, ahead of Pakistan and West Indies. The competitive spirit exhibited by the side in recent times is evident in the performances of young guns like Mustafizur Rahman and Soumya Sarkar. While Sarkar has lent solidity at the top of the other, Mustafizur has bamboozled visiting batsmen with his perplexing slower off cutters. The 19 year old left arm pacer from Satkhira grabbed consecutive five wicket hauls in his first 2 ODIs against India which resulted in his transition from a ‘kid’ to a tyrant.