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Cricket news - Mehidy Hasan keen on becoming 'true' allrounder in Tests for Bangladesh

Mehidy Hasan is hoping to make more contributions for Bangladesh from No. 7 in Tests

Mehidy Hasan is hoping to make more contributions for Bangladesh from No. 7 in Tests

Bangladesh's Mehidy Hasan has made up his mind. With a few words of inspiration from Shakib Al Hasan, the offspinner has set his sights on adding to his game in the longest format, by becoming a 'true' allrounder.

The right-arm off-spinner knows the value of scoring runs, considering his maiden Test century against West Indies helped him retain his place in the playing XI during the just concluded tour of Sri Lanka. Mehidy was making a comeback against West Indies after he lost his place in the national team due to a dip in form with the ball that saw him being dropped in the Pink ball Test against India. That was followed by being sidelined for the Rawalpindi Test against Pakistan.

Missing out in the lone Test against Zimbabwe at home would've come as a blow after the team management picked Nayeem as the lone spinner due to his form and the ability to extract extra bounce. Mehidy, who was an automatic pick for the Test side a few years ago, has faced a change in scenario because of the emergence of a number of off spinners in the national setup.

In the Test format, off-spinner Nayeem Hasan has made rapid strides and is BCB's current best bet for an out-and-out offspin option, while in the limited-overs game, Mehedi Hasan has arrived due to his exploits with the bat that make him a perfect fit for the white-ball formats.

Mehidy was picked against West Indies largely due to the fact he had picked 25 wickets against them in the longest format and host opted to play a four-pronged spin attack in the Test series. Mehidy came into the series with a lot of confidence, having done well against West Indies in the ODI series, but needed something special to hold down his spot in whites. He did that, albeit not with the ball. He cracked his maiden Test century and showcased his ability to add valuable runs down the order.

"Shakib bhai once said that he worked really hard with his batting, and that left a deep impact in my mind," Mehedy told Cricbuzz. "It was a great achievement for me that I could score a century in Test cricket. I couldn't do well in the international cricket with my batting at the beginning, I had tried to improve my batting, and day by day I'm doing better," he said.

"It becomes a great advantage not only for me, but also for the team, as if I can score 30, 50, 100 runs from the position I bat in," he said. "I think my role as a batsman is very important in the position I bat (number seven)."

Mehidy played predominantly as an off spinner in the Bangladesh line-up since his debut series against England where he picked 19 wickets at home in 2016, even as he broke into the senior set up as a middle-order batsman along with his ability to bowl off-spin.

"I try to develop myself day after day, as I put most efforts on my batting, because batting is very uncertain, as if you miss a certain delivery, you can get out, and that's the end of the story," Mehidy said. "If I can become a true all-rounder it would help the team, and me," he said.

Mehidy became the fastest (in terms of number of Tests) Bangladesh bowler to take 100 Test wickets, when he removed Shayne Moseley on the third evening of the Dhaka Test against West Indies but that hardly justifies him as the best in the business considering the difference of his performance at home and abroad. He has picked 71 Test wickets in 13 Tests at home, but has only 33 wickets away from home from the same number of Tests. Mehidy picked 10 wickets in the two-match Test series against West Indies but failed to deliver with the ball in the following series against Sri Lanka, managing only four wickets in two Tests.

"It's true that I need to do well abroad. At home spinners tend to get the advantage from the very beginning but away, we get the advantage from the third day. I think the first couple of days are very important for me. I feel containing the runs helped my team a lot, which is very important in Test cricket, even though I couldn't grab too many wickets."

"We specifically bowl to contain runs on overseas pitches, because when we try to take wickets there, we tend to give away runs. And when we give away runs, it puts us under pressure," he said. "You never can forcefully take wickets in Test cricket. You always need to create chances, to grab wickets, even in the good spinning tracks, as it isn't like you can get ten wickets creating ten chances. You might get around two in those ten chances. You need to create as many chances as possible so that you can take maximum wickets."

"That is exactly what I try. I try to create chances by containing runs, so that, if I bowl around 20-30 overs in a particular innings, I can create somewhere around 20 chances, but it doesn't ensure me of having 20 wickets. If luck favours me, then I can have a couple of wickets from those chances."