BAN vs AFG, 2022 – Mehidy Hasan Miraz


“We may be young in terms of age but being senior or junior shouldn’t be an excuse”

One of the biggest takeaways for Bangladesh in their ODI series win over Afghanistan has been the contributions from multiple players, not just the seniors. Afif Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Litton Das and Taskin Ahmed all put in decisive match-winning performances in the first two matches, helping Bangladesh take an unassailable 2-0 lead with a game to go.

Miraz said that given the opportunity, the younger players now know what they have to do to become matchwinners for Bangladesh. He said that their contributions will only boost the team, particularly when playing alongside a group of seniors who have been quite consistent in the last ten years.

“The seniors always want the juniors to perform well, which will help the team,” Miraz said. “They always back us up, talk to us. Litton, Mustafiz [Mustafizur Rahman] and I have been around for the last five-six years. So we have a bit of experience. We want to use it to play good cricket. When we had the opportunity, we tried to put together a partnership by playing normally. When it became a big partnership, we started to think about winning the game. Grabbing this opportunity is going to help us in the future.

“We learned from the seniors who have brought big achievements to the country. They have helped Bangladesh take the next step. They have won Bangladesh many matches. When they were doing it, we [the junior members] would think that whenever we get the opportunity we will get the team to that stage too. We had that confidence when we were out there. When we reached our half-centuries, we told each other that if we can’t win the game this fifty would have no value. If we can win the game, it will be an achievement.”

Afif and Miraz put together a grand 174-run stand in the first ODI, helping Bangladesh turn around their fortunes after slipping to 45 for 6 chasing 216. In the second game, Litton struck his fifth ODI hundred, while Taskin bowled superbly in the middle overs. While all four have done well for Bangladesh in the past, too – Litton, Miraz and Taskin were part of their historic Test win against New Zealand last month – they have come under scrutiny for not being consistent enough.
Bangladesh have waited for a long time for the next crop of cricketers to become consistent performers at the highest level. Sporadic performances, like Miraz’s big haul of wickets in his maiden Test series against England in 2016, have given them the opportunity to gain attention. But only consistency can bring them greater success.

“You get to play for the national team on the back of performance,” Miraz said. “We may be young in terms of age but being senior or junior shouldn’t be an excuse. Someone else will take my place if I am not performing. Sooner I can settle myself in international cricket, I can have a long career at this level.”

Miraz said that playing on good pitches, like the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium over the last week, will also be helpful for Bangladesh going into major events in the next couple of years.

“We have some big events coming up like the Asia Cup and the World Cups, so we have to adopt playing on good wickets. In India, we can expect 300-plus runs in every game, whether batting first or chasing. It was the same case in the 2019 World Cup. There are good wickets in these big events so it is better to have such wickets in our home conditions too. Runs will give confidence to the batters.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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