In the land of Shakib, some want to become Ebadot

Ebadot HossainShamsul Haque

In the land of Shakib-al-Hasan the next generation wants to become an Ebadot Hossain.

The interesting scene was observed at the Sher-e-Bangla International stadium when a handful of crowds cheered for the paceman. The shouting of Ebadot, Ebadot was somewhat surprising considering the fact pacers are not the most cherished players in the country's cricketing culture.

Bangladesh pacer Ebadot Hossain missed a five-for but his aggressive four-for made sure the hosts took a dominating position at the end of second day against Afghanistan in their one-off Test match on Thursday.

Ebadot led Bangladesh in the attack to bundle out Afghanistan for 146 in the second day of their one-off Test match to get a 236-run lead before the hosts scored 134-1 in the second innings to get a big lead.

But, not only the wickets, the way he bowled on the Mirpur track was most impressive. The fastest bowler of Bangladesh extracted bounce from the pitch that had a bit of green-top and mesmerised the opponents.

Several Afghan batters were caught at the short leg being pegged off by the pacer and those scenes are somewhat unprecedented for Bangladesh who normally are victims of such aggression over the years.

Ebadot was the chief destroyer for the Tigers when he picked up six wickets at Mount Maunganui against New Zealand in their second innings on the new year day Test last year to help Bangladesh clinch a memorable win.

The pacer showed pace bowling is paramount winning away Tests, the rarest feat for the success hungry nation that prides itself with cricketing achievements.

Ebadot Hossain
Shamsul Haque

But picking up wickets at Mirpur with the aid of bounce was somewhat a new experience for him.

Bangladesh's quintessential plan of spin-based attack on the slow and low home track has been gradually changing and the hosts did not even bother to prepare a green top against a lower ranked Afghanistan.

Ebadot, who came to the scene as an air force employee, initially made some name with his pace but his line and length had been mostly erratic.

However, with the guidance of Ottis Gibson and current pace bowling coach Allan Donald, Ebadot is gradually becoming a dangerous bowler.

Not only Ebadot, but the rise of Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Khaled Ahmed and some other up coming pacers are producing an impressive pool of fast bowlers. Most importantly, the pacers, who were once treated as sideshows at home soil, are becoming mainstays.

Perhaps because of that confidence for Ebadot, the cause of the team is higher than getting five-for.

"I do not regret, Alhamdulillah," said Ebadot when he was asked about missing the fifer at the post-day press conference.

"I did not get five wickets but we were two overs behind. If we were behind it could be a big trouble for the team so the captain wanted to use two spinners simultaneously. As it benefitted the team, I am happy because team comes first for me," said the pacer mentioning the fact Bangladesh used spinners right after the lunch and quickly wrapped up the innings picking up the last two Afghan wickets.

Ebadot, however, returned with his best figure in the home soil and terrified the visitors with sheer pace and constant bouncers.

"For the first time I saw such a wicket on home soil. The biggest thing was playing three pacers together on such a track. It is great luck for us. So, we tried to bundle them out for as low as possible. Alhamdulillah, we could execute our plans."

"Our pace bowling unit has been doing well over the last three years. I don't say we have become great but our improvement graph is getting upward. I think if we may do it continuously…inshallah we will do it. Because, we are trying to grab the first bowling mind that is dominating world cricket."

Ebadot hoped if the pace unit may continue performing in this way the team management will have more faith in them to prepare conducive conditions.

But, more than Ebadot's words and body language, one thing spoke louder about the ever-growing prospects of Bangladeshi pacers.

When he was speaking to a few journalists en route to the dressing room from the press conference then the scene of people chanting for Ebadot occurred.

Earlier, when Ebadot grabbed a wicket, amid the euphoria, a curious journalist asked some young people in the crowd, 'do you want to become an Ebadot?'

"We want to become an Ebadot."

Nothing can be more satisfactory for a cricket lover who wants to see the most aggressive form of cricketing prowess prosper in this part of the world.