Following a lean patch in both domestic and international cricket, Soumya Sarkar has at last found some consistent form at the right time. The stylish left-hander struck an unbeaten hundred to take Bangladesh Cricket Board XI (BCB XI) to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Zimbabwe in the tour match at BKSP yesterday.
Soumya has been in good touch as he scored two fifties and bagged a five-wicket haul in the third round of the four-day National Cricket League.
The 25-year-old has been in and out of the national team due to his inconsistent performances. His last recall was called midway through last month's Asia Cup alongside Imrul Kayes.
After being dismissed for a duck against Pakistan in the Asia Cup, Soumya scored a crucial 33 against India in the final but did not get a place in the squad for the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe starting from tomorrow.
Chasing a small target of 179, BCB XI skipper Soumya utilised the opportunity after coming in to bat at number three and struck 13 fours and a six in his 114-ball 102. More importantly, the intent he showed to stay at the crease until the end -- a tendency to throw away a good start is a common criticism of young Bangladesh players -- was an auspicious sign.
“I haven't thought that if I do well it will be a relief for me. As I was playing in the National Cricket League, a different format, I tried to stay at the crease as I wanted to see how long I can stay there. It was also a great platform today [Friday] as the target was not big, so I tried to stay as long I could,” Soumya told reporters after the match yesterday.
Soumya's over-the-moon celebration of his century in a tour match showed how much it meant, but he tried to downplay his emotions when asked whether he tried to prove his worth to return to the national side.
“There was a time when I thought that I have to return to the team by playing well. But now I don't think like that and look to play my normal game,” he said.
Considering Soumya's current form, chief selector Minhajul Abedin did not rule out the left-hander's return to the national team soon.
“Soumya is not out of our consideration as he is still in the 30-man pool and he is under a process. We wanted to see quite a few players in the Zimbabwe series and if we need Soumya we can bring him anytime the team requires. It's not that we dropped a player and he will never be recalled,” Minhajul said yesterday.
Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes also witnessed the game yesterday, a day after saying that he believed that Soumya had enough time for a comeback.
“I was delighted that Soumya has got two 70s and a five-wicket haul in the NCL. The timing of him doing well is terrific. I was in contact with him about it as well. He's the type of player that may well push out some of our other players. It's all about performance. They've got to keep performing in the hope that guys don't perform in the main side and they can get a go,” Rhodes said on Thursday.