A regular in Bangladesh's national T20 side and an impressive newcomer in ODIs, Shamsur Rahman's promise has mostly been limited to the shorter formats. However, the 25-year-old's unbeaten 229 yesterday revealed a different aspect of his batting approach.
It could well be the start of his progress to a Test breakthrough, a format which the player dreams of playing. With the selectors struggling to find the right opening partner for Tamim Iqbal in Tests, Shamsur's innings could not have come at a better time. While it may not seal his spot, it can definitely get the selectors' thinking.
Perhaps the best aspect of Shamsur's batting yesterday was that despite following his natural flamboyant style, the player made a conscious effort to stay at the crease for a longer period.
“I think the confidence started streaming in as I crossed my highest score in first class cricket, 135. After I crossed that the next aim was 150. And then came the 200. So I batted in sessions. I thought that planning was very important, and will help the next time I need to play a longer innings,” said Shamsur.
It was an interestingly paced innings -- Shamsur reached his 50 at a T20 rate of only 26 balls, but then slowed progressively as wickets fell around him. He reached his 100 off 86 deliveries before ending the day on 229 not out off 260 balls.
“This is how I like to play, it's my natural style. I did not try to do anything different. I just dispatched the bad balls well. The wicket was very flat -- it wasn't swinging much and neither was it spinning so I had a lot of confidence,” said Shamsur.
“There is still a long way to go though. Tomorrow the first thing that I will try to do is reach 250. If I can do that, that will be a big step towards scoring 300,” he added.
Shamsur hopes that his innings proves to be a stepping stone towards his dream of playing Test cricket. “I think a good cricketer can only be recognised through Test cricket. Yes there is one day cricket and T20 cricket but Test cricket has the highest amount of respect, so I really want to find a place here,” said Shamsur.