“The Bangladesh Tigers have knocked the England Lions out of the World Cup”- When Nasser Hussain described the moment of Bangladesh’s greatest triumph in World Cup history on that 2015 evening at the Adelaide Oval, Rubel Hossain, its protagonist, went for a celebratory run. The fast bowler reminisces fond memories of that outing and hopes that those memories will help him bring about his best in this World Cup.
“The Adelaide spell was a great moment in my career. In English conditions, I will keep that performance in mind,” Rubel told ESPNCricinfo in an exclusive interview. “We usually go through footage before every tournament, but I will definitely review my good performances. My preparation will reflect the positivity I gain from remembering some of my best performances.”
Rubel, who made his international debut back in 2009, has been an irregular feature in the Bangladesh side ever since. The 30-year-old hopes to carry a positive mindset into the tournament.
“I consider myself a positive person, so I don’t let bad thoughts take control. After I have bowled a couple of deliveries to my liking – where the ball has pitched where I intended it to, and it goes through quickly – then I try to build a rhythm,” he said.
Rubel, who has been entrusted by his captain, Mashrafe Mortaza to bowl the death overs alongside Mustafizur Rehman, spoke about the challenges in England. “We know that conditions in England now allow teams to reach 400 runs at times. It is important to keep cool while bowling. One or two boundaries can rattle bowlers but it is necessary to think clearly and finish the over properly. It is a batsmen’s game, so the bowlers have a battle in their hands.”
“Bowling in the slog overs is getting harder. Batsmen are targeting boundaries every ball. It is important to keep my cool, read the batsman and bowl. Right execution brings success, and I am working on it in training,” he added.
Rubel, whose last notable performance in ODIs came in the 2018 Asia Cup final against India, where he registered 2/26 in his 10 overs, won’t be a front-line option against South Africa, as the all-round skills of Mohammad Saifuddin are likely to be preferred. However, his experience and the latter’s questionable fitness might just work to his advantage on Sunday.