Returnees benefit from time away

Much like the awaiting media during the first training session since the squad announcement at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium yesterday, excitement was writ large on the faces of Mohammad Mithun and Anamul Haque, the two wicketkeeper-batsmen making a comeback to the national team after a nearly three-year gap.

Both recalled players credited their good form in domestic cricket to playing a lot of matches and gaining valuable experience through extended runs for their respective sides.

Anamul played his last ODI during the 2015 World Cup against Scotland in New Zealand and has since been the prolific run-scorer in the domestic circuit.

When asked for the difference between the Anamul of 2015 and the one preparing for a comeback in 2018, the 25-year-old said it was the experience he gathered while scoring runs heavily in the domestic circuit during his time away from the national team.

“I think experience has been a factor as I played a lot of matches during that time. I have probably played 20 first-class matches and 40 odd one-day games, which is huge experience. Apart from that, being part of the winning side or playing a role in winning matches for the team, be it in the domestic fifty-over competition or the longer version, are in themselves fantastic experiences. From improving the skills in batting and working on my wicketkeeping, it plays a big role in improving when you play matches continuously. I think there has been a lot of improvement, the [his] innings are getting longer, I have scored two double-centuries, so overall I am feeling much better than before,” an excited Anamul told reporters during the break from the centre wicket batting practice in Mirpur.

It is rumoured that during his tenure, former Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha did not like Anamul’s batting style and when asked whether the departure of the Sri Lankan has come as relief, the right-hander said that he always had the belief to make a comeback if he was able to perform and that it is not in his hands whether or not a coach likes him.

Mithun, meanwhile, played his last ODI in 2014 and was also picked for his recent performances in the domestic circuit, especially the fifth edition of the Bangladesh Premier league where the right-hander played a vital role in Rangpur Riders’ march to the title.

The 27-year-old said that it was his performance in the BPL that helped him make a comeback and that there is a lot of similarity between the BPL and international cricket.

“When our team [Rangpur Riders] were struggling with the bat there was a time when I was the main batsman for the side. Everyone also encouraged me along that vein, saying that if I play well the team will win and if I don’t we will lose. That was a huge achievement for me and it was the reason for playing well as it boosted my confidence immensely. When you are praised by players like Gayle, McCullum and Mashrafe [Bin Mortaza] bhai the confidence level lifts automatically,” Mithun said.

It will now be interesting to see whether each of these players can translate their confidence and runs in domestic cricket to the international stage in their second innings.


Source: The Daily Star.

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