WELLINGTON: As Bangladesh struggle in the first Test against New Zealand, fans wondering about the whereabouts of their most exciting bowler now have their answer: he’s being saved for the Wellington wind.
Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes said he was reluctant to use Mustafizur Rahman in back-to-back Tests, and that the 23-year-old would be more effective in the notorious breezes of the New Zealand capital.
At stumps on day two, Friday, and without having to face the fiery left-armer, New Zealand were 451 for four, 217 ahead of Bangladesh and with centuries from Tom Latham and Jeet Raval as well as an unbeaten 93 from captain Kane Williamson.
Leaving out “the Fizz” may even have surprised captain Mahmudullah who on the eve of the Test in Hamilton said his ace bowler was “eager to perform and we are looking forward to it”.
But coach Rhodes has taken a long view and is preparing the speedster for the second Test next week in Wellington.
“It’s a real struggle for him to bowl in back-to-back Test matches,” Rhodes said of the first player to win man-of-the-match awards on debut at both Test and ODI level.
“One of the reasons we wanted him to play in Wellington is because it’s going to be blowing a gale there. He is our best bowler into the wind.
“There’s a lot of work for ‘the Fizz’ in Wellington, which is why we wanted him to be fresh. Everything is horses for courses.”