Was just waiting for a chance: Taijul
Courteous and soft-spoken -- Taijul Islam's demeanor has never been one that gets the spotlight. But the left-armer has been one of the consistent performers for Bangladesh over the years.
On Saturday, Taijul featured in an ODI for the Tigers after 28 months. He probably would not have had the chance had Shakib Al Hasan been available and the Providence pitch hadn't aided the spinners as it did in the first two ODIs.
But still, Taijul flourished as he registered his career-best ODI figures of five for 28 in 10 overs, including two maidens, to help Bangladesh complete a 3-0 series sweep of the Windies with a four-wicket win in the final and third ODI in Guyana.
"I am very fortunate to get a five-wicket haul. I was actually waiting for a chance, hoping to do well whenever I get one," Taijul said after receiving the player of the match award.
He picked up the wicket of Brandon King with the very first ball. He scalped the crucial wickets of Shai Hope, Rovman Powell and Windies skipper Nicholas Pooran, who was the lone warrior for his side with his 73 off 109 balls.
Asked if he felt any pressure seeing from the sideline the likes of Nasum Ahmed, Mehedi Hasan Miraz dictating terms in the first two ODIs, Taijul said he only focused on doing his job.
"I never felt any such pressure. I just wanted to do my job. I just wanted to ball according to the condition of the pitch," added the 30-year-old.
On a month-long tour for the Tigers, it was the first time that Taijul had been called up to play a game. With premier all-rounder Shakib available for the Test series and fulfilling the role of the sole left-arm spinner needed in the pace-friendly foreign conditions, Taijul had to sit out in the two-match Test series despite being the Tigers' specialist bowler for the longest format.
He was asked to stay back with the team after the Test series to help the Tigers have some squad depth as Shakib opted out of the ODI series of the tour.
And after such a stellar performance despite being called up into the squad only for the final game, Taijul's determination, unsurprisingly, was singled out by his skipper after the game.
"I have to mention Taijul's name. Throughout the tour he has been with the side but did not get a game. He came to every practise session. And when he finally got a game, he stepped up," Tamim said during the presentation ceremony.