Soumya arrives and conquers in style……
Soumya Sarkar is not one of those cricketers in Bangladesh, who neither garners enough sympathy nor fan followers. He is not a popular choice of Bangladesh sports journalists, who may create a massive emotional hype about an average performer like Fazle Mahmud, who bagged back to back ducks despite playing domestic cricket for more than a decade, and perhaps, that is why the fans here bear a misconception about some of the talented customers in Bangladesh cricket. Sadly, the Bangladesh fans are heavily influenced by local media, where a group of people are habituated to convey the wrong messages.
Just before the 3-match one-day international series against Zimbabwe started, Bangladesh media went gaga over Fazle Mahmud, a batsman who averages 30 with the bat and ball after spending almost sixteen years in the domestic circuit. I failed to understand, how could a batsman with a chink in the technique and fragile temperament create so much hype? How could a sports journalist highlight such a mediocre performer?
Also read: Is Fazle Mahmud that good?
I do have my sympathy for Fazle as anyone can experience such a horrendous debut, but after playing so much of First-Class cricket and List A matches and earning the tag “complete package” from someone like Habibul Bashar, certainly, you cannot invest enough faith in a player who fails to open the account in international cricket in two consecutive matches. Sympathy is dependent on faith. If you lose faith, sympathy ebbs away automatically.
Fazle Mahmud’s failure paved the way for someone else to cash in at number 3. The Bangladesh think-tank had not been influenced by media hype and decided to include Soumya Sarkar. Before this, he rushed into the squad in last month’s Asia Cup for batting reinforcement, where, in the final, he was found compact enough with the willow and effective with the ball in that crunch game against Pakistan.
Since he returned to the domestic arena, he had been delivering the goods and even cracked a hundred in the warm-up match against Zimbabwe before the start of ODI series. Logically, Soumya deserved to be in the ODI squad rather than Fazle Mahmud.
Thankfully, the Bangladesh hierarchy included Soumya in the squad for the third ODI and did not prioritize emotion. Otherwise, the local crowd and fans watching on television would have been denied an absolute crackjacker from Soumya.
Also read: Keep the faith in Soumya and Sabbir
It was the sort of an innings, which a batsman should script against the weak attacks. The Zimbabwean batters showed signs of improvement as the series advanced, but sadly, their bowling remained below-par as usual. It received the treatment, it deserves – simply blown away by the willows of Bangladeshi batsmen. And, tonight, Soumya rubbed salt to the wound, by unleashing the beast in him.
It seemed, old Soumya was back after a long wait and with those exquisite timing straight off the middle of the bat, the young man hinted of a comeback and can be the ideal batsman at number 3, which Bangladesh have been searching for a while.
His murderous display would leave Bangladesh in a selection dilemma, and it would be interesting to see how Bangladesh handle these performers after the return of Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan.
But nevertheless, on a positive note, Soumya’s comeback is a huge boost. As because, these days, he offers the goods not only with the bat, but with the ball as well.
I hope, the renowned cricket experts and media of Bangladesh, realise the fact, it’s always sensible enough to provide opportunities to the tried and tested one time and again rather than those, who have past their best. As because, the likes of Fazle Mahmud won’t give Bangladesh anything, but the likes of Soumya, Liton and Imrul Kayes are still giving Bangladesh the best outcomes.