Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Colombo, 3rd day March 17, 2017

Debutant Mosaddek lays down a marker

Replacing a senior batsman like Mahmudullah comes with a lot of scrutiny and the 21-year-old handled it well, scoring a half-century and helping Bangladesh claim a rare first-innings lead

'I am no one to judge his standard or quality but I think that he has a big future in Bangladesh cricket' - Shakib Al Hasan on Mosaddek Hossain © Associated Press

Mosaddek Hossain is no stranger to pressure, and not the kind that comes out of a cricket match.

Since his first-class debut in 2013, he has played for Abahani Limited, the most successful club in Bangladesh history. The BCB's most influential directors come from their stables and they don't like losing. That brings pressure wholly different to having to run down a big total, or weather a top spell, or keep pace with a rapidly climbing asking-rate.

Yet it is in this environment that Mosaddek thrived, helping his team avoid relegation in his first season as a professional cricketer and making them Premier Division champions in 2016. He is nothing like the usual young Bangladeshi batsman. Not flashy. Not emotional. Just calm and calculated. Like a robot. It is for this reason Tamim Iqbal called Mossadek mature beyond his years.

So how was he going to handle making his Test debut after replacing a senior player like Mahmudullah, who also hails from the town of Mymensingh and who was dropped for the first time in his career? A failure might not only hamper his career, it might make the higher-ups who backed him look bad.

The first ball he faced was a peach. Suranga Lakmal pitched it on a length and darted it past his outside edge as if it were a puppet. Had Mosaddek gone at it with harder hands, he might have been out for a duck. Everyone talks about luck in this game and it seemed this 21-year-old certainly had some. He then spent his first half hour as a Test batsman learning to avoid the blatant threat of a fast bowler's bouncers and the subtle traps laid by a master left-arm spinner.

Eventually, it was off Rangana Herath that Mosaddek got his first boundary. A classic, inside-out cover drive for four. It wasn't quite Mohammad Ashraful taking on Muttiah Muralitharan in 2001 and later boasting that the man who would go on to take 800 Test wickets was like anyone else he faced in the Dhaka nets. But it was something.

The next challenge was batting with Shakib while the latter was in the nineties. The period when a senior player can essentially do whatever he wanted but the rookie's job - his only job - was to rotate the strike while making sure he didn't run his partner out. Mosaddek walked the tight rope perfectly.

The milestone passed and it was time to let loose a bit. So in the 94th over, when he was getting into position to avoid the short ball, he realised there wasn't too much bounce in the pitch and decided to pull it away. Bangladesh went into the lead with that four.

Most of Mosaddek's runs came on the off side. His shots were crisp, his ability to pick the gaps was excellent and the fact that his style was all his own made watching him all the more delectable.

"I am no one to judge his standard or quality but I think that he has a big future in Bangladesh cricket," Shakib said. "If you talk about his one-day or his international career - he has made a very good start. I would of course want that he continues as much as possible for the country.

"Since I have batted with him in domestic cricket, it didn't seem like we were batting together for the first time today. So whenever we bat together we are very comfortable with each other. We don't even have to call when taking a run.

"It is not because we have played together for long - I have only played five or six matches with him in the Premier Division and a few games in BPL - but there is a good understanding. His approach is appropriate for international cricket."

That is high praise from one of Bangladesh's greatest cricketers. Mosaddek should feel happy about it, but he can't get carried away. His 75 on debut showed promise but one innings does not make a good batsman. His technique and temperament will be tested again and again on the world stage - possibly even as soon as the second innings of the Colombo Test.

What's going in his favour is a giant appetite for long-form cricket. In a country that prioritises the limited-overs game, Mosaddek struck seven centuries between February 2015 and March 2016, including scores of 250, 282 and 200 not out. He has all the ingredients for success. Can he mix them in just the right way?

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • sharir5619170 on March 18, 2017, 17:28 GMT

    Well done Bro...keep it up...I hope u remain consistent...

  • cricfan08189813 on March 18, 2017, 9:00 GMT

    This kid is going to be our national hero like sir don Bradman

  • pervez5916867 on March 18, 2017, 4:48 GMT

    He and Mehedi should consult Thilan as much as possible.

  • Manik on March 18, 2017, 2:53 GMT

    We have few more youngsters waiting to get debuted in top order. Lets see how Imrul does in the 2nd innings.

  • nanmul6362878 on March 17, 2017, 23:07 GMT

    Mossadek played alongside Mahela Jayawardena in the recent BPL and the latter seemed to praise the former's ability, even saying that the kid has what it takes to be even better than Mahela. He seems to have started well, albeit not in the best position. He did play the new ball well though and got through that period and only looked genuinely like getting out at the start when he was nervous. Could develop into a good ODI batsman as well at no.3 or no.4, after they finally drop Sabbir soon.

  • Md. Mahamudul on March 17, 2017, 22:25 GMT

    I already mentioned him in a comment few months back for his inclusion in the Test squad. Happy to see that is called up for a reason and he responded to that in a nice way. I also thought that if Mostafiiz could stay on the crease for few more delivery, Mosaddek would reach closer to his maiden three digits score.

  • niaz on March 17, 2017, 21:15 GMT

    MahmudUllah averages 30 and Mossadek 70. Batsmen like Mahmudullah, Imrul, Sabbir have techniques, shots. So the coach asked them to play shots (natural game), but that did not work for them. Tamim has cut down his shots outside the off stamp, Mushfique usually grinds his innings in the beginning. Sakib showed a mix of aggression and calmness (at times). Batsmen like Mosaddek, Liton, Shadman already knows how to play long hours. If the seniors do not use patience and calmness they should be replaced. Bangladesh plays talented but reckless batsmen, we shy away playing talented by inaccurate bowlers. Like Al Amin can bowl a few unplayable deliveries, but he is not selected because his average is not as good. I understand Taskin, Mustafiz and Subashis being the main bowlers. But rotating with guys like Al Amin would not be bad.

  • Jalal on March 17, 2017, 21:08 GMT

    Brilliant! wonderful to watch! This boy along with the Fizz, Miraz are the future of BD cricket. I'm sure they will do better than the present generation In Sha Allah. Only obstacle is the BCB's often chaotic management. The future of BD cricket is certainly looking brighter. BCB must improve the school level cricket to find more kids like Mosaddek and Miraz and the fizz......

  • Anup on March 17, 2017, 18:16 GMT

    This boy has some serious talent in the longer fotmat. Today's debut was a flawless, beautiful, timely matured innings. keep it up

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