Before the second ODI against New Zealand, the discussion about Soumya Sarkar was one of a kind. Not a discussion, but a good criticism. But in the second ODI in Napier, Soumya managed to put a break in the criticism for the time being with a great innings of 169 runs. However, the discussion about the left-handed opener does not stop.
Not to stop. Amit came to the Bangladesh team with talent, but now even at the age of 30, Soumya is coming and going to the Bangladesh team! Bangladesh is entering the first match of the three-match T20 series against New Zealand tomorrow at 12:10 pm Bangladesh time. Before that, Soumya was discussed in a large part of Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha’s press conference today.
Hathuru’s thoughts about Soumya were asked in the press conference. Bangladesh coach praised Soumya, ‘I knew, she has the ability to play an innings to turn the match. He did that. Always say, class is permanent. The form can be different for many reasons. Especially what is going on in the player’s head, that becomes a big deal.’ How is Soumya’s head now? Hathuru replied, ‘His head is absolutely clear.’
After a terrible bat-ball performance in the first ODI of the series, Soumya’s place in the team was questioned. What is the question of place, what has Soumya done to get a place in the team, the question has also arisen logically. The second question is not to be dismissed in any case, but after 169 runs in the second match, Soumya’s 3 wickets for 18 on the way to Bangladesh’s history-making victory in the third match has closed the first question for now.
After Soumya’s return to bat and ball, Hathurusingha’s ‘contribution’ has been negatively talked about, many trolled. Leaving the trolls aside, what is Hathuru’s contribution to Soumya’s return to form? The Bangladesh coach gave Soumya credit for that question, ‘I didn’t turn him back, he turned himself back. The second one-dayer was ‘do or die’ for Soumya. There is a good game that proves how strong his mind is! He knew that the whole country was against him. We don’t know what would have happened if he failed. All we have done is trust him, give him confidence, the whole team stands by him.’
Hathurusinghe sees no reason why Soumya, who has returned to form in ODIs, cannot be seen in the same form in T20Is as well. And Bangladesh? Will the ODI form be in T20? In the last match of the series, Bangladesh got the taste of defeating New Zealand in ODI on New Zealand soil for the first time, even in T20, New Zealand could never be defeated in their field in 9 matches!
Hathurusinghe said, ‘The work is difficult! We know our record. Not even won a T20 here. The record was the same in ODIs as well.’
The added importance of the T20 series against New Zealand starting tomorrow, with this series, Bangladesh will start on the road to the T20 World Cup next June. Hathurusinghei said, including this series, he will try to build a team for the World Cup with the 11 T20s and BPL before the World Cup.