Mehedi Hasan is making his debut. Bangladesh saw fit to give him the Murali role.
Younger readers might think that ‘the Murali role’ is all about being brilliant and freakish and baffling people with magic, but there is a more prosaic aspect to it too. For much of his career, the boggle-eyed, flexi-limbed one-of-a-kind was obliged to bowl half of his side’s overs and take at least half of the wickets.
Being a genius can be bloody hard work.
We daresay the role doesn’t become easier when you’re not actually a genius. Mehedi Hasan isn’t a genius. He does however appear to be a pretty fine bowler on this minimal evidence. If he continues to open the bowling and monopolise an end, he might also end up with a shoulder every bit as loose as Murali’s by the end of what could prove to be a 20-year international career.
From England’s perspective, 258-7 was a decent salvage operation. While it’s hard to say whether that score’s any good or not until Bangladesh bat, we are still concerned about this generation of England batsmen.
Most will have rarely faced decent spinners in county cricket and until this season they will most likely have been countering them on seaming pitches anyway.
In the coming months, it’ll be interesting to see whether England Lions tours and the like have papered over these cracks. Much of the plaster in our kitchen was applied onto wallpaper, which just goes to show that despite what people think, you can achieve a lot with this sort of approach.