It was a huge relief for Soumya Sarkar, who was going through a lean patch in the Dhaka Premier League (DPL), when he struck consecutive centuries in the last two games, the latter being the first double hundred by a Bangladeshi in List A cricket on Tuesday.
Earlier, when Soumya was unable to score runs in the DPL, many raised concerns about the left-hander’s ability since he was included in the Bangladesh World Cup squad. Interestingly, after scoring the double ton, many are now praising Soumya by saying that his ability to devastate the opposition on his day was why the left-hander was picked for the World Cup.
The concerns about Soumya may have taken a back seat but there are still questions over Liton Das, another contender for the Tamim Iqbal’s opening partner in the Bangladesh lineup. Liton, despite making starts in the DPL, was unable to convert those into big ones.
Since striking a blistering maiden international hundred in the final of the Asia Cup against India in Dubai in September last year, Liton has managed to cross fifty just once in his next nine games. That put the stylish right-hander under the microscope once again because of his lack of consistency.
But then again, the Tigers’ think tank have kept backing both Soumya and Liton for their ability to attack the opposition regardless of pitch, conditions and the bowling attack but a lack of consistency has often irked many, especially when it came to providing enough opportunities to others.
It has been more than four years now that the pair have made their ODI debuts, with Soumya set to play his 2nd World Cup.
During this period, Soumya has played 41 ODIs and scored 1274 runs at an average of 34.43, which includes two hundred and seven fifties.
Liton, on the other hand, has scored just 508 runs in 27 ODIs, averaging 19.53 with notable scores being a hundred and a fifty. He will be featuring in his maiden World Cup.
There are no questions about Soumya and Liton’s talent and ability to tear apart oppositions on their day, but the time is ripe for the two cricketers to step up and justify their strengths on a regular basis, instead of the rare heroics day.
When Tamim started his international career a decade ago, he too was rated as a highly talented batsman who could take on the opposition single-handedly on his day. However, he realised that consistency is more important than just owning the tag of being an explosive batsman.
Although Tamim was all praise for Soumya for his double hundred, the experienced cricketer did mention that now was the right time for the two cricketers to step up when asked about finally finding his regular opening partner after much experimentation over the years.
“It’s not a problem when it comes to a particular game but when you have a settled opening partner what happens is we can both understand the nature of our games. At times when I am not able to time the ball properly or despite playing good shots, the ball is going straight to the fielder, then the partner needs to take the extra chance.
“But if somebody is not settled it’s very unfair to go and tell him to take chances as they also come through a process. But I am sure Liton and Soumya got enough chances and I am sure it’s the best time for them to show the world how good they are,” an optimistic Tamim told reporters yesterday.