A relative newcomer to the Bangladesh Test team, 22-year-old Liton Das is a man of few words. His re-entry to the team after last playing a Test in July 2015 was an unhappy one as Bangladesh lost the first Test to Sri Lanka in Galle by 259 runs.
His is the wicketkeepers' lot; for a generation one person becomes the wicketkeeper in a stable national team while all other domestic cricketers have to wait for an injury or loss in form to get a look-in. With Liton, it was skipper Mushfiqur Rahim's importance as a batsman and some ordinary performances with the glove that provided an opening. The young keeper-batsman then sealed the deal with a Bangladesh Cricket League double-century in late January to make the squad for the one-off Test in India, which he did not play.
“No, I actually played as a keeper in Tests before, so it was nothing new for me,” said Liton when asked whether his balance-altering inclusion was an extra pressure.
His keeping was impressive in the first Test, with his one-handed grab to dismiss opposite number Niroshan Dickwella on the fourth day being a highlight. However, his batting -- getting out to ill-advised shots in both innings -- left a lot to be desired.
“I could not quite perform the way I wanted to. I contributed with my keeping but could not contribute fully with the bat,” was the concise summation from Liton while talking to the press during team practice at the P Sara Oval in Colombo, the venue for Bangladesh's 100th Test match starting from March 15.
“It is a big thing for Bangladesh cricket and it is a big thing for me too, that I am in the squad for the 100th Test,” Liton said. “I will try to give my 100 per cent; I think every team member will do the same to make it a memorable occasion.
“Every Test is important, but the 100th Test has some prestige associated with it. Everyone will want to make it memorable and perform well so that their name is associated with this landmark.”
With Bangladesh's recent history of fourth-innings implosions, Liton thought that the toss in the upcoming Test will be important. “Since the conditions are hot, the wicket will crack and there will be turn on Day Five. If we bat first it will be a plus point for us.”