The moment Nasiruddin Faruque chose to stop thinking too much about his game, he reaped the rewards.
On the other hand, a deeply motivated Mosharraf Hossain Rubel is also on his way to reaching his pre-season target.
“I used to think too much about everything,” Faruque said. “There is less negativity now because I think less about it. There can be far worse things than getting out.”
Even if he got out twelve times out of the 14 times he went out to bat, the Barisal batsman did justice to his talent as he scored 632 runs at an average of 52.66, the highest among batsmen at the National Cricket League.
“I felt more confident this season. My goal was to think match-by-match and not the entire season. I think I was more consistent because of that, unlike 4-5 years ago when I used to score big once and then the next one came after a couple of games,” said Faruque.
There was a time when he was the only left-hander to talk about and as much as Bangladesh cricket has changed, so has this southpaw’s technique and method.
“In one-day cricket you have to play a lot of shots, sometimes too many. What I do is I play just two shots in the longer version,” added Faruque. Though he struck two centuries and three half-centuries, he was not entirely pleased with his conversion rate.
“I didn’t get to play more than two months last season. I was injured and I think that worked as an incentive. I wanted to make up for what I missed last season,” he said.
For Rubel however, there was a lot of motivation to do well.
With his left-arm spin, he has taken 33 wickets while with the bat Rubel has scored 320 runs at an average of 46.71.
“There’s only one way I can make it to the national team and that is through performance at the domestic level. I prepared myself to play for the national team and I think that’s why it has been good so far,” said the Dhaka left-arm spinner, adding that he has eyed the ‘double’ of being the highest wicket-taker as well as the best all-rounder of the tournament, a feat he reached in the 2007-08 season (just before being picked for the Tigers for the one and only time).
Both Faruque and Rubel are 27 and 29 respectively, supposedly the peak for cricketers, but only in this country can anyone above 25 be considered a has-been, a lost talent, someone who could have made it when he was young but not anymore.
Despite scoring a decent amount of runs, Faruque would hardly be in the reckoning for a spot in the national team but he could hope for the next best, the Bangladesh A team. But he believes that the structure isn’t the best. “I think, for the last two years, the structure hasn’t been that impressive. Last year there was just that one series each against South Africa and West Indies. And it is performance based, just like the Academy team these days,” he said.
“If there was a 6-month camp for A team players, it would have been much better. Even when you consider future national players, this bonding is important and they can know each other well if they have long camps for the Academy or A team,” said Faruque.
Though the season is over for him, Rubel has one last chance to remind everyone all is not lost, in tomorrow’s NCL final against Rajshahi. “I think it is very important, this final match. If I can end up with 40 wickets and reach 400-plus runs, it would bring me some attention,” said Rubel.
Couresy of The Daily Star