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Bangladesh pacer Mustafizur ready to resume IPL 2021 campaign against Punjab Kings tonight

Rajasthan Royals pacer Mustafizur Rahman at the nets in Dubai. The left-arm pacer currently has 8 wickets in 7 matches of IPL 2021 (Image courtesy: Rajasthan Royals)

Bangladeshi pacer Mustafizur Rahman has said that the Rajasthan Royals team is "really excited" to start off well when they resume their campaign in IPL 2021 against Punjab Kings tonight at the Dubai International Stadium.

"When you are playing in these conditions, it is important to start off well. I think if we can manage to maintain our process and are able to follow the things we’ve planned and execute them on the field, then we will definitely come out on top," expressed the 26-year-old ahead of the game.

Having helped his country to a first-ever T20I series win against New Zealand earlier this month, Mustafizur also commented on Royals' approach.

"We don’t want to be looking too ahead of ourselves, and want to just go match-by-match. We know what we want to do, and it is to win matches, and have a great IPL season, and I believe today will be the first of those matches. Everyone in the group is really excited to start off well."

The left-arm pacer currently has 8 wickets in 7 matches of IPL 2021, and refers to his time with the Royals so far as satisfying. “I think most teams in the IPL are very good, but I have absolutely enjoyed my time with the Royals. We are the first-ever champions of the IPL, and I feel really proud and satisfied to be able to perform for the franchise. I also feel really valued here and just hope to keep performing in the remainder of this season.”

Disclosing what the four key factors to his good bowling form are, Mustafizur said, “For me, bowling doesn’t mean that you need to have several variations. I like to keep things simple, and I think I’ve got four key things that I do really well, which is to bowl – in the right areas, a good slower bowl, a quick yorker and a great bouncer.”

“I believe it is not necessary to have too many things in your armory, but to focus on the things you do well,” he added.

Having played in the UAE before a few times, ‘The Fizz’ also added that the conditions in the gulf nation will be familiar. “I’ve been there in 2014 to play at the U-19 Asia Cup, and I think the conditions there are very similar to what we find across Asia and even back home in Bangladesh. I also know it’ll be hot, but I’m not worried about it and am quite used to it,” he gushed.

“I’m very confident with the boys coming in, they’ve all performed well at the international level and the franchise has chosen them because they have performed well. So, I feel we will have a strong unit.”

In line with his approach of not looking too far ahead, Mustafizur said he only has his eyes set on this IPL season. “I don’t like to think about all those things (IPL retention and auction). My aim is to perform now and enjoy the moment. We can only control our performances and that is what I’m focused on. I do my best on the field, whether I’m playing for the Royals, for my country or for my local team. I don’t worry about things which are not in my control,” stated a confident looking Mustafizur.

However, signing off, the pacer did agree that the IPL season will serve as good preparation for the T20 World Cup. “Obviously, it will be a really good preparation for me because I can then go back when the World Cup starts and share information with my teammates on how the wickets were. Not all of my teammates are playing in the IPL, so I can pass on the knowledge, and I hope it will be very important for the team,” he expressed.

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