Bangladesh were swept aside by an aggressive Rohit Sharma on a flat batting track in the second T20I in Rajkot on Thursday after the Tigers’ errors in batting led to a middling score, allowing the Indian captain to make things look easy during his 43-ball 85.
Life was difficult for the bowlers on that surface. Bangladesh had picked three seamers but once the Indian captain got going, he was finding the boundary on a regular basis. The pitch too played a part as the flat and hard surface allowed the batsmen to play their shots with ease. For Bangladesh, there was not much to take heart from except leg-spinner Aminul Islam’s performance during that tough period while everyone else was going for runs.
The young leg-spinner, who got a surprise call-up during the home tri-series against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan in October, has remained a part of the T20I side ever since. The India series however is a big step up in terms of challenges and so far, Aminul has shown that he can manage pressure situations and read the batsmen well. Having bagged two important wickets in the first T20I, Aminul turned out to be the only bowler who survived the Rohit storm. He also thwarted the India captain from scoring a ton in his 100th T20I.
Spinners Afif Hossain and Mosaddek Hossain could not be bowled for more than an over each, going for 13 and 21 runs respectively. Pacers Mustafizur Rahman and Shafiul Islam went at over nine runs per over and in those circumstances, the young leggie picked up two wickets for 29 runs, figures closely resembling his Indian leggie counterpart Yuzvendra Chahal who bagged two wickets and conceded 28 runs.
He was praised by captain Mahmudullah Riyad after the game for showing courage. Aminul had flighted the ball while others around him were going for big sixes. “He bowled well in the first match and today also he showed lots of courage. I told him that if you can do well against strong opposition such as this, you will have more self-confidence,” Mahmudullah said of Aminul.
“We all know how strong India’s batting is and I think his confidence level is good… it’s in the right place. If he can continue and bring us a few wickets in the next match then it will be good for us,” Mahmudullah added.
Not long ago, 20-year-old Aminul was playing for the emerging team and the Bangladesh A team. Not even recognised as a specialist spinner, he has proven to be a more than handy addition to a side craving leg-spinners. In T20 cricket, where batsmen take more chances, he has shown the ability to stick to his guns, and a surprising degree of accuracy. But things will however not remain rosy for the young wrist-spinner. So often in Bangladesh, a young player makes an early mark but falls away due to not being played and lacking in confidence.
With the BCB now mandating the use of leg-spinners in domestic leagues like the NCL, wrist-spinners will possibly have more exposure but only time will tell whether Aminul will make the cut. However, with the team now being formed for the upcoming T20 World Cup, the BCB think tank may look to Aminul for substance in the shortest form of the game.