The year 2022 has undoubtedly been a career-defining one for Mehidy
Self-belief and clear thinking have been constant themes in his journey to becoming Bangladesh’s man of the moment.
Bangladesh has nearly always needed a standout performance to defeat India. Mashrafe Mortaza paved the path between 2004 and 2007. 2015 saw success for Mustafizur Rahman’s five-for and six-for. And this time, India was caught off guard by Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s batting.Mehidy’s twin miracles, which gave Bangladesh the ODI series victory with one game remaining, resulted from deeply held religious convictions. Until this series, when his batting took a giant leap, he had only hinted at being an all-rounder in passing over several years. The 25-year-old has positioned himself as the solution to Bangladesh’s age-old issue of not just finding a big hitter but also one who knows precisely when to press the accelerator. Additionally, he has taken over Mahmudullah’s ten-year position as the team’s crisis manager.
The year 2022 has undoubtedly been a career-defining one for Mehidy, from his small but significant role in Bangladesh’s famous Test victory over New Zealand in Mount Maunganui to his ability to revive the team against Afghanistan with the bat and against South Africa with the ball, to publicly standing up to a BPL team official. He was seen as mature above his years in previous seasons, even when he served as the Under-19 captain, but now he appears to be genuinely coming of age.
Mehidy was having a successful year with the bat and the ball until he suddenly opened up against India last week. He led Bangladesh to victory in his debut game by scoring 51 runs for the final wicket, defying belief. Mehidy played uppercuts, scoops, and lap sweeps against fast bowlers to achieve those runs, which is unusual for this team against elite sides.
Even more impressive was what he accomplished in the next game. His first ODI century, which he scored while batting at position eight, enabled Bangladesh to surge from 69 for six to 271 for seven, ultimately leading to the victory that gave them the series.
Mehidy stated following the first game that despite being 136 for 9, he genuinely thought they could chase down 186. He claimed he wouldn’t have been able to pull off the victory if he had believed Bangladesh couldn’t do it. Mehidy clarified his belief system after the second game, even though it sounds like a cliché from the world of sports.
You might keep repeating, “I believe,” he added, “but until you put it into a process, it wouldn’t mean anything.” “You need precise information first. I could have been a better batter if I had been confused in the middle. I was aware of accurate information.
“Second, you need a reliable point of reference. For me, it was a victory in the opening ODI. I was able to envision my plans. I was able to picture the game I wanted to play. You get at that kind of belief system in this way. You cannot simply convince yourself to believe something. To achieve your goal, a method must be in place.
Pulling all of this together while in the middle must be difficult, but Mehidy has thoroughly embraced this thought process. He has given this some thought. But his improvement as a batter goes beyond just two innings spread across four days. Unlike his bowling, his batting, which required years of care, is now beginning to bear fruit after a lengthy process.
Despite the constant criticism the Bangladesh team management faces, it deserves much praise for Mehidy’s improvement as a batter. They briefly tested him out as an opener in the lead-up to this year’s T20 World Cup. Mehidy received crucial batting practice against the new ball as preparation. Although he ultimately did not start in the World Cup, his added responsibilities as a batter during that time may have contributed to his confidence.
“It certainly benefited me when facing fast bowlers and batting against the new ball. I completed it in New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. Being ready to start the inning was helpful. My motivation came from the team management’s confidence in me. I assured myself that I could bat. According to Mehidy, when a player is given a particular amount of trust, it impacts all facets of the player’s game.
“I started in the bowling world. If the coaching staff believes in a player, that athlete will also be driven to advance. I initially thought I couldn’t bat when I joined the Bangladeshi team. Everyone now feels in my bat. I’ve also opened the bat. Their faith must be returned, which boosts my confidence.
Mehidy led Bangladesh’s Under-19 team for two World Cups because of his maturity, according to the BCB. In the second season, in 2016, he delivered, advancing the team to the home semifinals. The sensitivity and pragmatism with which he handled the strain and attention of leading the team at a home World Cup stood out even more than he was voted Player of the Tournament.
He advanced to the senior team that same year. He was making an impression on notable figures at the first-class level, including former spinner-turned-selector Abdur Razzak. Razzak noted that Mehidy continued to consider the game during her lunch and tea breaks. Mehidy acknowledged that he enjoys learning from the nation’s top instructors.
“Those who have seen me closely know that I always take bowling tips from Sohel [Islam], sir,” he claims. “Rangana Herath, our current spin-bowling coach, and I get along well, but I also talk to Sohel sir frequently. Since I was in my age group, I have played a lot of cricket for Babul [Mizanur Rahman], sir. Recently, he signed me up for the BCL (Bangladesh’s zone-based first-class league) and always gave me the go-ahead to bat well. Our local coaches brought us up. They are fully deserving of praise.
Mehidy didn’t think like a batter at the beginning of his senior career, but his confidence slowly improved as he scored hard-fought Test runs over the years. I used to bat down the order at the beginning of my career, so I mentally prepared myself as a bowler. I wasn’t getting many chances to bat, and I could have been a better batter too. As a player, I feel much more complete at this point. In these six years, I have adapted to playing international cricket. I have made an effort to better myself every day. My hitting did not get better in a single day. It reached this point after minor daily improvements.
Mehidy also has a reputation for being a source of confidence inside the group. Earlier this year, Tamim related how Mehidy kept begging him to allow him a few overs when Bangladesh had problems during the first ODI against South Africa. Mehidy reportedly told Tamim, “I can turn it around; just give me the ball.” He continued to take wickets, making his mark on the game, and Tamim, who praised his confidence. Mehidy referred to these as “some of the best moments of my career” following the second ODI against India. Both were challenging circumstances, he claimed. “To score 51 with the last wicket in hand was incredibly difficult. Then, today’s score was 69 for 6. None of these performances can be written off because of our excellent cooperation. For me, both are special.
The next question was whether he still considered his 19-wicket haul against England in his debut Test series a memorable performance. Mehidy agreed but noted that a cricket player’s career is more complicated than just getting off to a strong start. The most important thing to him is how he gets better. “I was very immature at the time, but today I am much more so. I’ve been performing for a while. Both performances are significant to me. No one of them escapes my memory. Even when things go well in the beginning, success never ends. I got off to a good start, but I want to keep getting better.
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