Taskin banks on fitness, extreme pace to make a comeback
Bangladesh's promising fast bowler Taskin Ahmed is eyeing to return to national fold as he felt that he gained the necessary fitness and the pace that ensures a fast bowler would thrive in the international cricket.
The lack of fitness, decline of pace, injury, off-form and disciplinary issue, according to Taskin, were key reasons behind his exclusion from the national team.
"I felt myself fitter than any other time and regained the pace, which was fallen significantly due to my lack of fitness and injury," Taskin told BSS.
The right-arm pacer played his last Test and ODI in 2017, while his last T20 was in 2018. He, however, was included in the squad to play the 2019 World Cup after showing a magnificent performance in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) that year, but an unfortunate injury ruled out him finally.
Taskin sets Dhaka Premier League (DPL), the country's prime List A tournament, as the platform to make national comeback again but this time around the coronavirus outbreak, halted his march.
"As I am fit, no point of compromising with pace for the sake of line and length. I believe the good fitness will give me the freedom to maintain pace and line and length simultaneously. So when I have the fitness and pace, I am confident enough."
A bowler with natural pace and aggression, Taskin made a lightening debut in international cricket by claiming a five-wicket haul against a mighty India side in 2014. Bangladesh though lost the match, Taskin showed he could be the next Mashrafe Bin Mortaza in the team.
The belief gained the momentum when he delivered some excellent spells that were considered as 'fast and furious', in a Test against India in Hyderabad.
The team management saw the light at the end of tunnel as they believe they are going to get a genuine fast bowler among Taskin for longer version cricket. But that was not to be.
Firstly the injury and then the lack of fitness played a role in axing Taskin from the team. He became irregular in the team and the pace dropped significantly, making him an ordinary bowler.
"I was only the responsible for my meteoric fall. I made a smooth transition to the Test cricket, after showing good performance in ODI and T20 cricket. When it was matter to establish myself as the prime bowler of the country, I got injured," Taskin said.
"I recovered from the injury but hardly concentrated on my fitness training, which was the reason that I couldn't make my comeback memorable. Again I was excluded and saw others taking my place."
Taskin was lucky to have the guidance of Waqar Younis, a great Pakistani pacer, when he played for Sylhet Sixers in 2019 BPL. The ex-Pakistan captain and pacer was the coach of Sylhet and helped Taskin to rejuvenate again.
Until being injured, Taskin was the best bowler of that BPL, claiming 23 wickets, the second highest of the edition.
"Due to the injury I missed the 2019 World, which is unarguably the worst phase of my career. But I don't give up. I know only working hard could guarantee a place in national team," he remarked.
"So lockdown at home, I focused on fitness training as per the guidelines of BCB. I am doing gym regularly. With stiff competition in the team, I know, making comeback would be a tough matter. But I also know, if I am fit and I have the pace, my time will come," he concluded. -BSS