Gutsy Rishad makes a mark

Bangladesh's Rishad Hossain

Rishad is considered a total package in white-ball cricket.

Bangladesh's Rishad Hossain proved his worth with both bat and ball in the just concluded series against Sri Lanka and now is considered a white-ball package for his all-round abilities. The boy from Nilphamari spoke at length with Cricbuzz where he disclosed his bowling mantra and batting psychology along with his topsy-turvy journey as a leg spinner in a country where they are not welcomed unlike others.

Here are the excerpts

With your height, why do you opt for spin?

I never bowled pace with a cricket ball but when I used to play with tennis ball in my childhood I used to bowl fast. The moment I picked up the cricket ball I always wanted to spin it. After getting picked in the Robi spin camp I came under BCB programs and went in Under-17 tour and later got into Under-19 and later started getting picked in High Performance program and A team.

You were part of the Under-19 World Cup group that won the tournament. Was it disappointing that you missed out in the last minute?

I was in the World Cup squad. I played in all the series but did not play the World Cup and at that point I was thinking I could not give my all for team or perhaps I am not perfect for the team but I was not disappointed because I always had the trust in me and Allah.

Do you know that the journey of a leg spinner is not easy in this country?

When I started as a leg spinner from Under-17, I was thinking that there are no leg spinners in this country and so the road will be difficult for me. Even though it was going to be a hard journey I wanted to travel it and perform to the best of my ability.

You are not picked regularly in domestic cricket. Isn't it frustrating?

At times I get frustrated thinking that if I could play it would have been better and at times I feel that no it is ok and probably something good is waiting for me and when I get the chance I will do well. I just kept focusing on my work in the practice and did not think that I am not playing matches and things like that.

In BPL you just played four matches despite carrying a good form from New Zealand.

When you are in the flow you need to play matches as you will be in a good head space but when I am not playing matches I think what I can do in practice. Like when I am practicing I set-up a field placing in my head and bowl accordingly like I would do in a game and that is how I prepare and when I am playing matches its a different story.

There was a time when there was a lot of talk about your bowling action...

There was a time when everyone was giving me advice like this is not working for you or that will work for you and at that point it was difficult for me to take the decision. Later someone advised me that you carry on with what helped you come this far and it won't help if you are listening to everyone.

Your head used to fall earlier and it still does to some extent if I am not wrong? Are you still working on it?

Now my main focus is to bowl in good areas and how I can read a batsman better and because we are at the middle of a season I am not thinking whether my head is falling down or not. Now I don't think too much about what others are saying because I know how my body works.

In a T20 game against Sri Lanka you gave away 18 runs and later came back strongly. What was going through your mind at that point of time considering you still opted to bowl aggressively rather being defensive by bowling fuller and even picked up an important wicket.

When I gave away 18 runs and later came back Shanto bhai was telling me that I want a wicket from you and just be brave enough to bowl fuller.

When you bowled a bad over what goes through your mind?

There will be times when bowlers bowl badly and what I feel is that I cannot repeat the same mistake while bowling in a similar situation. I just want to make a mistake once and that is my motto as a bowler. In the last game against Sri Lanka I gave away .. runs and probably gave away 11 to 12 runs in the first over and I was thinking what I was doing earlier and need to apply that keeping my head cool. It is important for me because even if I give 15 runs in one over if I follow that by giving two to three runs in the next over the economy goes down.

Your coach was saying that you need to turn more..

I worked on that in Sylhet and Chattogram and the wicket will not always help you. I know turning is important and I will work on that in the coming series and in the DPL.

There was a time when you were known only for bowling googlies but now that is not the case..

A bowler needs to have variations but there are times when you have to use all your weapons and at times you can survive by just using one or two. If that is the case and when I see that I don't need to do too many things I don't experiment that much.

You used to bat with heavy bat against the heavy ball..

Yes because it helps you with your bat swing and ball timing because after batting against heavy ball when you are batting against cricket ball it becomes easy and at times looks like I am batting against a tennis ball.

You hit Hasaranga for a six off the first ball you faced. Do you carry the mindset that if the ball is there in your zone you will go for it?

Whenever I go to bat when the ball is in my zone I feel I can hit it even if my eyes are closed in that case my body reacts automatically. Because I am tall I have a long reach and that can be a problem for a bowler I guess.

Your batting is highlighted everywhere. Now do you feel that you are a bowler who can bat or is it vice-versa now?

I don't follow social media so don't know about it but I am focusing on my bowling because I don't think about my batting that much it's just that I go to bat and play my shots. I don't want to support the team with just one thing because I want to support the team with batting bowling and fielding.

How Hathurusingha gives you confidence?

He always says that there is something good in you and if you can deliver then it will help both you and the country and I like the way he encourages me.