Like many openers in Bangladesh, Imrul Kayes too lost his way in international cricket after making a place in the arena. A few years ago Imrul had scored the maximum runs in ODI cricket in a calendar year for Bangladesh. And with Tamim Iqbal at the other end, the management had thought that they had finally solved the opening conundrum.
Years later, the problem still persists and here's Imrul yet again with an opportunity to redeem himself. The left-hander, who last played a Test back in October 2011, believes that he is 'mentally stronger' on his return.
“I worked really hard in the last two years, so yes I was really happy to get the national call. But this time, I really need to maintain my position,” said Imrul after a training session in the morning yesterday.
“I made a few adjustments with my batting technique and I feel a lot more comfortable. But honestly it's the mental gain that I think has helped me make the team,”
“Everyone goes through a hard phase in life and for me that phase took place when I was outside the team. But I worked hard and tried to make the most of whatever opportunity I got. That's what helped me become stronger mentally,” said Imrul.
He felt that missing out on Bangladesh's emphatic series win against New Zealand last year compelled him to try harder.
Imrul's hard work did pay off as it was his performance in this year's Dhaka Premier League (655 runs at 43.66) that played an important role in his selection.
“I think the DPL helped me out quite a bit. I played that with a target to come back into the side,” said Imrul. And while his first-class record in the last two years is not as impressive -- he averages 37 in the last 12 matches -- he hopes his new-found mental strength can help him make an impact.
As he himself put it, “I always told myself that if I do manage to come back, I will make the most of it. Let's hope it works out.”