‘I am keeping my feet on the ground’
After an impressive run of form in the just-concluded Bangladesh Premier League for Sylhet Strikers, Towhid Hridoy was rewarded for his performances by being included in the Bangladesh squad for the upcoming white-ball series against England. The 22-year-old opens up and spoke about his game, views and a few other topics during an exclusive interview with The Daily Star's Mazhar Uddin. The excerpts are below:
The Daily Star (DS): Congratulations. You must be over the moon after getting a national call-up.
Towhid Hridoy (TH): It is every cricketer's dream to represent the country at the senior level to be honest. And yes, I am happy.
DS: Were you expecting a call-up after finishing as the third highest run-getter in the BPL?
TH: I was a bit more confident this time around because, as you mentioned, I scored runs in the BPL so I was hoping for a call from the national team. But my focus remained on my game while I was playing in the BPL. That was never in the back of my mind.
DS: Although you have been scoring runs consistently for the past couple of years, there was a notable change in your body language during the BPL. Did you specifically work on your batting recently?
TH: Many do not realise that I have been scoring runs consistently over the past couple of years across various levels. After the Under-19 World Cup triumph, I played in the High Performance squad alongside the A team and I scored runs. But maybe people didn't notice that. But yes, I made some slight adjustments to my batting ahead of the BPL such as backlift and it worked well for me.
DS: There have been many instances of players that were rated very highly initially in their careers failing to live up to expectations due to various pressures. Are you aware of that?
TH: I am very much aware of that fact. But despite being young, I have seen both side of the coin so early on in my life. It is very obvious that if you don't perform you have to make way for others. The same goes for me. I am prepared to give my best whenever I get an opportunity to play for my country. I am not thinking about outcomes; I'm focused on sticking to my process.
DS: Did you chalk out any plans for the England series?
TH: Look, I am the type of player who is prepared to play according to the situation. My strength is my adaptability and I am up for the challenge ahead of me. Obviously, our coach and captain will make their plans but I am personally also doing my homework on how to tackle the English bowlers on home soil.
DS: Did you have a chat over your game with any national players after being selected in the squad?
TH: I spoke to [Najmul Hossain] Shanto bhai and he shared his experiences of international cricket. Top-level cricket is tough and you need to prepare yourself accordingly. I am working on it.
Mushfiqur Rahim bhai also guides me a lot. He has been my idol since childhood. He gifted me his bat in 2017 and since then I have been using his bat because I don't feel comfortable batting with any other bat now.