What’s the story?
Sunrisers Hyderabad are set to welcome back pacer Mustafizur Rahman for their first away match against Mumbai Indians. Coach Tom Moody confirmed that the Bangladeshi will ‘more than likely’ join their squad in Mumbai next week.
On their upcoming match against Gujarat Lions, Moody felt, “We got to remember that Gujarat Lions were the finalists (got eliminated in the second qualifier) last year. I don’t read too much into one loss they have had and read too much into the first victory we have had. The most important thing is to continue to do the things very well and look at areas where we can improve.”
He added, “Ideally, we want to keep some sort of continuity in the final XI. But I think what we will do is continue to try to pick the best players for the opponents we come across and also the conditions.”
With his medley of cutters and accurate yorkers, Mustafizur was instrumental in Sunrisers winning the 2016 edition of the IPL. With 17 wickets from 16 matches and an economy rate of 6.90, the left-armer showed his potency in different stages of the game.
The heart of the matter
The 21-year-old seamer has already had his fair share of injury woes. He strained his shoulder while turning out for Sussex in the 2016 Natwest T20 Blast and had to undergo a surgery. Upon returning for the tour to New Zealand later that year, his workload has been monitored closely by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
Mustafizur recently participated right throughout the tour to Sri Lanka comprising 2 Tests, 3 ODIs and 2 T20Is. Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza advised him to skip the IPL in order to avoid burn-out even as BCB released the No Objection Certificate (NOC) after due deliberation.
After the game against Gujarat on Sunday, the Sunrisers travel to the Wankhede Stadium to take on Mumbai Indians on Wednesday. If Mustafizur‘s comeback goes as expected, he will be available for close to 10 matches before heading out to Ireland for national duty. The tri-nation series also involving New Zealand is set to begin on May 12.
Even though Sunrisers seemed to cope well in the absence of Mustafizur during their season opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the fast bowler’s return will certainly add teeth to their bowling attack. It will be interesting to see if he hits his straps straightaway as the Wankhede Stadium is known to be unforgiving to those erring on length.