As hard-fought as the ongoing Test series between Australia and Bangladesh has been so far, there are two friends on duking it out there in the middle and both played starring roles in Australia’s first innings, which read 377 for nine at the end of the third day of the second Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong.
Australia opener David Warner hit a serene century in the heat of Chittagong to take the side close to Bangladesh’s first innings score and he fell to Mustafizur Rahman, who he captains in the Indian Premier League franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad. Mustafizur was a star performer in Hyderabad’s surge to the title in 2016, and the two have been good friends since Fizz’s first season in the IPL.
It also happened to be Mustafizur’s birthday, and Warner had some words of praise for his IPL teammate who along with Mehedi Hasan Miraz was the star performer in Bangladesh’s bowling display.
“I think he’s a very good bowler. I think Bangladesh have to look after him,” Warner said after the day’s play. “We’ve [Australia have] been through it for an extensive period of time as well. You have to look after your fast bowlers, so if he’s your No. 1 strike bowler moving forward when you’ve got a couple of Test matches and one-dayers coming up, you’ve really got to monitor that and you’ve got to obviously prioritise whether it’s Test cricket, one-day cricket, Twenty20 cricket.”
Warner was perhaps alluding to the travails Australian fast bowlers have faced of late, with Josh Hazlewood having to go home with an injury he picked up in the first Test. The lone fast bowler in the current side, Pat Cummins, has also had his injury problems.
“That’s obviously a conversation for them to have with him but I think he’s an exceptional talent, an exceptional bowler, and it’s obviously upon him to work out if he wants to play all three forms, one form, or two forms.”