Twenty20 cricket, with heavy bats and smaller grounds, should ideally favour batsmen in a format that feasts on high scores. However, the bowlers have evolved and adapted as much as the batsmen have and are restoring the balance between bat and ball. Umar Gul, RP Singh and Irfan Pathan made this clear as early as in the inaugural edition of ICC World Twenty20 with some spectacular spells.The shortest format of the game has tested the bowlers but at the same time has provided them with a platform to become superstars. The latest to join an increasingly long list of star bowlers is Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman. The lanky pacer has been making headlines since his dream debut. In his first ODI against India, Mustafizur picked a five-for, setting the stage for Bangladesh to seal a historic series win. (Suresh Raina likes to keep things simple, says Dale Steyn)Mustafizur’s talent was spotted immediately and he was drafted in by the Sunrisers Hyderabad during the Indian Premier League auctions in February this year. The left-arm seamer has repaid the faith, picking seven wickets in six matches in the ongoing ninth edition of the IPL. He had a poor time in the field last night , conceding 21 runs off two overs against a charged-up Rising Pune Supergiants but that was a rare failure in what has been an outstanding initiation into international cricket. (I never try to emulate anyone, says Virat Kohli )Mustafizur, thanks to his consistency in the IPL has won plenty of admirers, including SRH skipper David Warner and all-rounder Moises Henriques. Now, Dale Steyn, arguably the fastest bowler in the world, has taken note of Mustafizur’s sharp skills and compared him to the legendary Wasim Akram.advertisement”Mustafizur has got the skill set, X-factor Wasim Akram had. I wouldn’t say Mustafizur is swinging as much as Akram did but it is fantastic to see him bowl.” Steyn said in an exclusive interview with intoday.in.Mustafizur has already given us some of the most exciting moments of the IPL this year. His in-swinging yorker that cleaned up Andre Russell was a spectacle. And on Saturday, he bowled 16 dot balls in his four-over spell and finished with figures of 4-1-9-2.While the best in the business have failed to come up with strong tactics to deal with Mustafizur, Steyn, a champion himself, seems to have realised why the young Bangladeshi has spread terror among batsmen the world over.”We are so used to right arm bowlers who bowl quick and also bowl off-cutters to surprise batsmen. Now this guy is a left-armer and his cutters and pace changes are things that nobody has seen before,” Steyn said. Sounds legit?Steyn also said that major tournaments are becoming platforms for pacers to step up and deliver. The South African pacer cited Mitchell Starc and Trent Boult’s case after the Trans-Tasman duo lit up the 2015 Cricket World Cup.”Every year somebody comes up, somebody steps up. At the World Cup, last year, we had Trent Boult and Mitchell Starc who came out and did something different. They both were bowling yorkers and swinging the white ball extremely well. While Starc was hitting 100 mph-mark, Boult was swinging it upfront. Now we have got Mustafizur from Bangladesh. I hope he goes from strength to strength. I hope we have a few more guys like Mustafizur next season,” Steyn said.
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