Soumya up for the fight
A young cricketer comes to the surface, plays a series of phenomenal knocks, is the talk of the town and the love of the media and the nation, but all of a sudden fades away after a rather short period of time.
It is a story that you have heard a number of times. And it is the story that Bangladesh opener Soumya Sarkar will hope to avoid. After a fabulous year in international cricket -- when he fared well in the toughest of conditions in Australia and New Zealand and bludgeoned teams like Pakistan, India and South Africa at home -- the 23-year-old has taken his first blow. He is no longer the first-choice opener in ODIs for Bangladesh and the reason behind that is a combination of his dismal performances in both domestic and international cricket and Imrul Kayes's rise.
Despite the nervy period that his career is enduring, the left-hander managed to break into a smile every now and then while addressing media in Chittagong yesterday. He indicated that while he knew he was in trouble, he was up for the fight.
"Being in the national team is a challenge. I went through a bad patch and Imrul [Kayes] bhai did well. So, from now on every match will be a challenge. The other openers are doing well too. I have to fight for myself. I tell myself everyday that I will have to do more than my best at the moment, or else I will lose to myself. This is how I hope to get myself ready," said Soumya.
When asked what he thought his main problem was, he said: "I just haven't been able to score. I don't know what my problem is honestly. I have tried to get out of this patch. I guess everyone goes through this kind of a phase.
"The ones who can come out of it the fastest will succeed. It's a good thing that I am going through this phase at the start of my career. If I can battle and rise above this then I will learn a lot and it will be really good for me."
"I am talking to many people. I am trying everything. Let's see which road leads me to success. Many a time, many good advices don't work. And then there are times when one small piece of advice does the job," he added with a smile.
It is not as though opportunities have stopped coming for the left-hander. He has been included in the squads for both practice matches against England. Although the first day was abandoned yesterday due to a wet outfield at the MA Aziz Stadium, he might feature in the second, today.
He will also be captaining the BCB XI team in the second two-day match that begins from tomorrow. A good knock in either of these games could very well help him straighten his path out once again.
Soumya describes it best: "I will try to start afresh. I will try to perform the way I had during my peak in the first year."
While the BCB XI trained later in the evening, the Bangladesh national team trained at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the morning.
Aside from the players who played in the three-match ODI series, the likes of Mominul Haque, Mehedi Hasan Miraz, Al-Amin Hossain and Taijul Islam were also present during that session.
The hosts are expected to announce the Test squad after the two practice matches and judging by the practice session, it will not be a shock if they spring a few surprises.