There's no pressure on me
Being a wicketkeeper is a pretty hard ask in cricket. It is a thankless job, and very often a keeper only gets noticed when he makes a mistake like dropping a crucial catch or missing a stumping chance.
To top it off, more often than not, the position of wicketkeeper in an international team has the lowest turnover -- once a player makes it his own and is performing with both gloves and bat, the position is his for as long as he wants it.
That is the reality facing Nurul Hasan in what should be his happiest time as a cricketer. The 22-year-old Khulna lad was on Sunday selected in the Bangladesh squad for the first Test against England on Thursday, but more than his three fellow new entrants, he knows that the chances of a debut are not great. The established Bangladesh wicketkeeper is Mushfiqur Rahim, who is not only also a vital batsman but the captain of the team.
When naming the team, head selector Minhajul Abedin had said that Nurul was the second wicketkeeper. Coach Chandika Hathurusingha added that Mushfiqur is the keeper 'at this stage' while crediting Nurul as being one of the best wicketkeepers in the country. Signs therefore point to Mushfiqur as the keeper although, as many seem to think, the pressure on the captain to keep and lead may lead to a chance for his understudy in the near future.
"There is no pressure; in fact it can be taken as a show of respect," said Nurul, speaking after the BCB XI-England XI warm-up match yesterday, said when asked whether his inclusion brings pressure to fight for a difficult position or whether he sees it as reward for domestic performances. "Mushfiqur bhai has been playing for a long time. He is trying to play well for the team, the country. There is no thought of replacing him here. That he is playing well for Bangladesh is the more important thing."
Nurul has played six T20Is in national colours, all this year, but he knows that should he get a chance to play in the Test, the demands will be different.
"There is of course a difference. Even so, if I take too much pressure then the difference will become even greater. The trick is to not take the pressure and reconcile the differences," he added.
He has impressed with his batting in the warm-up match, scoring 39 on Sunday before keeping safely all day yesterday with the catch to dismiss Joe Root to show for it.
"I have no special plans regarding my batting," said Nurul, who has a highest score of 182 not out in first-class cricket, where he averages just short of 42. "Hopefully if I get a chance I will try to play the way I am playing, I will try to play my natural game."