Number eights have played on our mind in recent months. At Cricinfo, we pointed out that there are some serious batsmen at eight these days. At The Wisden Cricketer, we identified Bangladesh as being a prime culprit in this regard.
Bangladesh’s number eights have averaged more than the batsmen who’ve come in at two, four and six so far in their short history. Mahmudullah has been responsible for this of late. He’s only in his fifth Test, but he now averages a gnat’s pube under 50 and has played all his innings at eight or lower.
We’re particularly fond of Mahmudullah for the fact that he doesn’t seem to use his first name, Mohammad. You’ve got to like someone who thinks: “I’m Bangladesh’s number eight batsman. The time is ripe to join Prince, Madonna and the first six Mughal emperors in mononymous glory.”
A word of warning though, Mahmudullah: for every Akbar (one of our heroes), there’s a Sting.