For a bowler who had taken a total of 19 scalps in his first two Tests, you would expect Mehedi Hasan Miraz to be desperate to add plenty more to the wickets column during the one-off Test against India in Hyderabad.
It would therefore not have been a surprise had he used an aggressive stance during the pre-series interviews and spoken about the specific Indian wickets he targeted.
After all, he is likely to get more help from the wicket in Hyderabad than the ones in New Zealand.
However, Miraz seemed anything but aggressive during a press conference that took place in the team hotel yesterday. The flurry of wickets that he took early in his career has not seemed to change his thought process at all.
When asked what the main focus of the Bangladeshi bowlers should be against a strong Indian batting order, he said: “Because of the practice match, we understand the strategy of the Indian players better. New Zealand play differently and so do India. Indian batsmen try to dominate the bowlers. They always try to score runs against us. Our target will be to restrict those runs.
“As bowlers we have to be consistent and bowl in the right areas and check those runs. If we can do that, they will automatically commit mistakes while trying to get runs. But you can't really forcefully do something against the Indian batsmen.”
“I am going to try to bowl to my strength, which is to bowl in the right areas. I am not going to try and bowl for wickets because when I do that I tend to go off line. I will be focusing on bowling in the right areas,” added Miraz.
There have been instances in Bangladesh's past when bowlers ended up fading away following a few good matches. And one of the reasons behind that was that their previous performances became a burden rather than a fillip. It was as though they targeted five-wicket hauls in every game, regardless of the pitch and conditions.
Miraz however seems to be a lot more realistic and practical in his expectations. He knows very well that Bangladesh's bowlers would have to be extremely disciplined in order to challenge this Indian batting line-up in their own conditions.
“It's not as though you will perform well all the time or that you will be able to perform the same way throughout. The spinners may get help here in Hyderabad, but the Indian players are very good players of spin. So we have to use the right mental approach for this Test. If everybody sticks to their plans, then maybe something good will happen,” said Miraz, adding that he hopes to get a few top-order Indian wickets.
Following Miraz's first two Tests, Ravichandran Ashwin praised the youngster on twitter. When reminded of that, Miraz said that he hoped to learn from the experienced off-spinner.
“I have not met him yet and I can't talk to him now due to restrictions, but I will obviously meet him after the game. I will always try to learn more. I observe Ashwin quite a bit. I think I will learn more when I see him bowl in the flesh,” reckoned the youngster.