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Dhaka, Saturday 19 Jan, 2019

I am not a superstar, Shakib Bhai is: Taijul

Sports DeskDaily-Bangladesh.com
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Bangladesh’s left-arm spinner Taijul Islam believes he didn’t try too many things that helped him earn maiden 10-wicket haul propelling the host in a fighting position against Zimbabwe in the opening Test of the two-match series in Sylhet on Monday.

Taijul grabbed the spotlight by wrecking through the Zimbabwe batting on both innings.

He picked 5 for 62 runs in the second innings following his 6 wickets for 108 runs and in course did not let the opponent take the overall lead beyond 320 runs before Bangladesh ended the third day on 26-0.

Despite being an unsung hero in Test, the left-arm spinner proved his worth in the shortest format of the game since his arrival.

Taijul have claimed 80 wickets in 20 matches so far while Shakib al Hasan grabbed 74 wickets in 18 matches and the statistics itself show the impact he carries in the Test squad.

“Naturally it was a noteworthy achievement that I will treasure all through my life,’’ Taijul told media after the match.

“I don’t like to complicate my game by over thinking,’’ he added.

I wanted to do was to make sure that I was bowling in the right areas knowing there would be some turn and bounce. I was confident that patience would pay off and it did eventually,’’ he said.

Though the reckless batting approach took away all the limelight from him in the Bangladesh first innings, the left-armer did not lose his sights on the wicket and believed picking up a wicket or two would further lift his confidence.

“It is always encouraging when you pick up wickets because it helps you gain confidence. At the same time one must also remember no one should get carried away and try too many things instead of following the usual process,’’ he said.

Taijul, who is considered to be Test specialist, seems to be enjoying bowling in the longer formats after his ODI career short-lived despite making a grand entrance.

Taijul wrote his name in the record books as he became the first cricketer to bag a hat-trick on ODI debut, but a regular place in the white-ball teams, however, has eluded him and his early heroics fetched him just three further ODI appearances.

In a country where left-arm spinners playing white-ball cricket get sucked into bowling diagonally into the legs to stop the run flow, Taijul has remained traditional in his approach. He tries to draw the batsman forward regularly with his loop and flight and beat them with his turn.

When asked whether he considered unlucky, he replied negatively.

“I don’t think it that way,’’ said Taijul. “Probably my bowling is not good enough to fulfill the requirement of the national team in the shorter formats but still there is time and I am trying to improve my variations so that it can be utilised in the shorter formats,’’ he added.

Taijul received his first call up to the first-class National Cricket League for Rajshahi in 2011 and hogged the spotlight with a bag full of wickets in the 2013-14 seasons and made it to the Test team in West Indies in the same year.

But it all started one fine morning in a small city of Natore in Rajshahi when his uncle told him after hearing a megaphone announcement on the streets that there would be a camp for the under-13 cricketers in the city.

A keen young Taijul was looking for just such an opportunity to showcase his talent, and he did just that, going on to represent Bangladesh in the national under-13 team.

He went on to represent age-level teams and it was in his under-19 days, during which he was also playing for Orient Sporting Club, that the left-arm spinner received his first call up to the first-class National Cricket League for Rajshahi in 2011.

The only son among three children, Taijul had already started contributing to his family from his cricket earnings, and he nursed the ambition to play for the national team.

Taijul was never tagged as the superstar in the Bangladesh team despite his outstanding entry into international cricket and the spinner has been playing his role quietly without even thinking of the fact.

He believes that the performances should speak of itself and he does not think himself a superstar.

“I never thought that I have to become a superstar in the Bangladesh team; I only concentrate on my bowling and the role I have given by the team management. We have Shakib [Al Hasan] bhai, the best all-rounder in the world and the biggest superstar and I always try to learn from him,” Taijul concluded.


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