Mashrafe Mortaza, who stepped down as Bangladesh skipper in March, hailed veteran Mahmudullah as the VVS Laxman of the Bangladesh side for the all-rounder's tendency to perform during crisis situations. The pacer further discussed the Tigers’ infamous upset over India in the 2007 World Cup.
Since making his debut in 2007, Mahmudullah Riyad has been the heartbeat of the Bangladesh side alongside the likes of Shakib, Tamim and Rahim and the all-rounder has even gone on to captain the Tigers on multiple occasions. Though not making it big in Test cricket, Mahmudullah’s contribution to the Bangladesh limited-overs side has been invaluable and despite being 34 years old, the all-rounder continues to remain an integral part of the Tigers’ white-ball set-up.
And the right-hander’s thankless contribution to Bangladesh cricket has seen him be branded as the VVS Laxman of Bangladesh by former skipper Mashrafe Mortaza, who hailed the all-rounder for always turning up during crisis situations. Mortaza further added that Mahmudullah could have ended up with great numbers had he batted at No.4 instead of the No.6 role that he has taken up for the Tigers.
“Mahmudullah is like VVS Laxman. He will go for days without scoring but when the team needs runs, he will stand up,” Mortaza told Tamim Iqbal in an Instagram chat, reported Indian Express.
“If he had got the opportunity to bat at 4, he would have been a batting great in terms of statistics. Only because the team needed him to, because we did not have firepower in the lower order, he batted at 6. I have always felt bad for him but he has accepted the situation with a smile.”
Mortaza, who stepped down as the ODI captain of Bangladesh post the series win against Zimbabwe, then went on a trip down the memory lane and recalled the game between India and Bangladesh in the 2007 World Cup, where the Tigers scored a remarkable upset. Mortaza revealed that things fell into place for the Bangladeshi side, who were desparate to win the game for Manjural Islam, who tragically passed away due to an accident a few days before the game.
“Some days you have a feeling that it is your day. The dressing room was charged because of the death of Manjural Rana (a teammate who died in a traffic accident just before the World Cup). We all wanted to win the match for him.”
Tamim then revealed in astonishment how Mortaza had told him 10 days prior to the India game that he would dismiss Virender Sehwag by bowling a delivery that seams in.
“You had told me 10 days before the match that you would bowl Virender Sehwag with an in-cutter. How could you have known from before?,” said an astonished Tamim.