Shanto ticks the right boxes to get moving

DailyStar || Shining BD

Published: 3/7/2024 4:42:07 AM
Najmul Hossain Shanto after winning the player of the match award. Photo: Firoz Ahmed

Najmul Hossain Shanto after winning the player of the match award. Photo: Firoz Ahmed

Following the post-match press conference on Wednesday, Bangladesh skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto was asked whether a change of environment from his BPL franchise to the national team had seen him get back to runs.

He replied with a shrug, suggesting it may or may not be the case. But it was not something he was focusing on.  Out on the field during the game, he was able to tick the right boxes as Bangladesh levelled the T20I series against Sri Lanka with an eight-wicket win in Sylhet.

In 12 innings in the BPL, Shanto's highest was 39 and he scored runs at an average of under 15. In short, the BPL did not go well for the recently-appointed national team captain across formats. The Bangladesh bowling unit put on a far more disciplined display from last game and the top-order also got some runs, including Shanto himself.

"It feels good to win the match. I think in both matches we played good cricket. We were unlucky not to win the last match but the way we played as a team, very happy about that.

"Yes, the BPL did not go well but I am still trying to overcome the lackings in my batting. Fortunately, it was a bit better today and would try to continue," he said.

It had been a bit of a surprise seeing Shanto come out for a batting session on the afternoon of the match yesterday, along with Towhid Hridoy and Anamul Haque.

Newly-appointed batting coach David Hemp had talked to the captain regarding what appeared to be his head position. The transfer of weight and shoulders might have needed some adjustments and the batter was seen playing some of his favourite shots during that session. The technical side is one part but he perhaps found an answer through the mental side of the game.

"I was working on my batting but don't want to say what it was since it's a technical matter. It's not something like I worked on it today and got success. I have been trying to correct it for a while and it's getting better slowly and there is more to improve," Shanto said when asked about his session.

What was important was finishing off the game at his own tempo, not taking undue risk while adjusting his game to the match situation.

"It's not important to score fifty. What's important is how effective it is what I am doing for the team. So I was able to do that and the best thing was that I was able to finish the game," Shanto said, having ended the game with a big six to clinch the winning runs during an unbeaten 38-ball 53.

There were less mistakes from the bowling unit too, with line and length and the variations always keeping Sri Lanka guessing.

"I feel that in the middle part of the innings, our bowling plan was very good on what we wanted to do," the 25-year-old said.

Asked about the unchanged eleven, he said: "It was important [to keep faith in the same eleven]. We lost one game in the final over, so there was not much lacking which is why myself and the coaching staff didn't think of a change."

It was important to show that faith to the team as Shanto gets moving ticking the right boxes.

Shining BD