West Indies in Bangladesh 2012-13

Nafees keen to make most of West Indies series

Mohammad Isam in Mirpur

November 11, 2012

Comments: 22 | Text size: A | A

Shahriar Nafees hits out on the leg side, Bangladesh v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Mirpur, 1st day, December 17, 2011
This year hasn't been a productive one for Shahriar Nafees © AFP
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Players/Officials: Ravi Rampaul | Shahriar Nafees
Series/Tournaments: West Indies tour of Bangladesh

Bangladesh's last Test, played almost a year ago, was a memorable one for batsman Shahriar Nafees. Though Pakistan defeated them, he scored 97 in the first innings. The long break from Test cricket will end when they take on West Indies on Tuesday, but Nafees, 26, doesn't want to say much about the skewed FTP. Tackling the West Indies bowling attack, which offers enough variety to keep the free-stroking Bangladesh batsmen on their toes, is more important to him.

"I don't want to bring up the FTP and use it as an excuse," Nafees said on Sunday. "If I don't do well, nobody will remember what I did or didn't do in the last year. If I do well, people will say that I have made a successful comeback.

"We played well against West Indies last year and did well individually against Pakistan. So if a player can continue playing cricket that would only be a good thing. The players don't have control over the FTP, so we have to make the best use of opportunities."

After that Mirpur Test against Pakistan, Nafees was left out of the centrally contracted players' list. He, then ran into trouble in a tournament in Bangalore playing for Bangladesh A, when he showed dissent at an umpiring decision and was sent home. He was handed a suspended ban by the Bangladesh Cricket Board, but was later picked for the A side in September

He hasn't been scoring prolifically in domestic cricket and hasn't performed exceptionally for the A team. In 23 matches in first-class, one-dayers and Twenty20s, he has scored only 528 runs. But Nafees has 2011 in his mind, a year in which he struck five fifties, which included that knock of 97 against Pakistan.

"I am happy, I played well in ODIs last year and got runs in Test cricket. I played regularly in 2011 so I was pretty happy. But I haven't played after a gap, so I have to do well," he said.

But to do well, Nafees will have to come out on top against a strong bowling attack. Sunil Narine is the most talked-about bowler in the West Indies attack but the pace attack will be a challenge to face as well. "They are in good form. Ravi Rampaul, Fidel Edwards and Tino Best are their strike bowlers and they also have some good spinners. We can't just work on one bowler because they are on a high note. We have to take everyone seriously," he said.

Nafees was hit on the face by Edwards in the first Test against West Indies last year (and was struck on his eye by Shahadat Hossain two months ago). Rampaul said short-of-length deliveries will be used depending on the batsmen's weaknesses.

"It's too early to say how the wicket will play, we have some good quick fast bowlers who bowl at 90 miles an hour, and if we put the ball in the right areas we will do well. As a bowling unit we tend to look at the batsmen and at their weakness, if the short ball is one of their weaknesses then we will exploit it," Rampaul said.

Rampaul has toured Bangladesh a couple of times in the past, including in the 2004 Under-19 World Cup, so he should adapt quickly to conditions, which he knows will assist the slow bowlers.

"From past experience, I can say that the wicket in Bangladesh is slow and it helps the spinners. It's basically a wicket where you'll have to use your variation. We have played in all parts of the world. We will just try to stick to the basics and bowl well," he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by AzAb12754 on (November 12, 2012, 14:42 GMT)

To non-bangladeshi's we know Bangladesh are very unlikely to win these test matches but we just want them to perform well and take the match in the 5th day last session. We're not favourites by any means. Because of that its West Indies who have everything to lose if they're unable to pull it off.

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (November 12, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

@ supporter_of_minnows: Nothing wrong with supporting minnows. But u r supporting such class-less batsman like Rokibul as well as average-class Nazim! BD has no options but some left-hand batsmen like Junaid or Nafees. Tho they r not so good but still have some experience than Nazim.

Posted by tisra on (November 12, 2012, 4:29 GMT)

@EnglishCricket :: For your info, Bangladesh lost only two matches by innings margin in last 3 years (16 tests).

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 2:30 GMT)

Nafees should more focus on his batting & fielding.If he want to play constantly.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 2:20 GMT)

Nafees is great as long as he plays to his fullest potential. No point of bringing what you have done in the past have to move forward. All the best nafees, hope your best is yet to come for bangladesh.

Posted by Gowza on (November 12, 2012, 2:06 GMT)

hopefully nafees backs up his words and/or desire to perform, anamul haque has been scoring a lot of FC runs domestically over the last 3 or so years and topped the u19 WC charts so he's pushing hard to get a call-up.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 1:40 GMT)

BD should select Anamul for 3rd position.Althrouh he is young but his performance in NCL fantastic three match two centuries. He is capable to play this position.Give him chances earlier to make him adopt all kind of situations like Nasire. I hope Anamul also contibute our BD cricket in future.I want to see, he would be next Tamim.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 1:38 GMT)

Always thought he was a talented player but he hasn't lived up to it yet, though he's still young. Junaid and Nafees surely both realise that Anamul Haque will have to be given a go in one of their spots sooner rather than later, good to see competition for places in the Bangladesh batting, if only they had as many fast bowlers to choose from.

Posted by EnglishCricket on (November 11, 2012, 20:08 GMT)

Smart man Shahriar Nafees instead of complaining about FTP he wants to get the job done on the field where in Tamim's case, he complains of Bangladesh lack of Cricket which is of course true but prove it by not losing at least by an innings in both those test matches.

Posted by supporter_of_minnows on (November 11, 2012, 19:23 GMT)

my bad no anamul!! so obvious choice is nazim!!

Posted by supporter_of_minnows on (November 11, 2012, 19:22 GMT)

nafees shudnt be pickes as BD needs a right left combo in the opening which in my opinion should have been nazim/rakibul!! but anyways anamul might do the work!!

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (November 11, 2012, 19:17 GMT)

I hope for Nafees sake he does well because this could be his last chance in a Bangladesh team. I'd rather see him in the playing 11 then players like Jahurul or Nazimuddin. Nafees also needs to realise that Anamul Haque is right behind him to take away his 2 or 3 slot.

Posted by Sadequl on (November 11, 2012, 19:04 GMT)

there is a word in bangla "brikkho tomar nam ki - Foley porichoy" which means if you ask a tree "what is your name & it reply back fruits is my identity.

Posted by ExtremeSpeed on (November 11, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

I agree with The_Ashes although he's inconsistent at times he's one of the few that has has lots of experience and that is crucial in Cricket. Also thanks Cricinfo for the preview of this series great informative articles all the best guys!

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 18:44 GMT)

Shahriar Nafees can turn out to be a cavalry, especially in Tests. He is pretty impeccable in his timing and if he can apply more precision in it. He can literally be impregnable! He may not have the sort of brute strength which the pucked-up batsmen has. For instance, Matthew Hayden and the likes. But he is gifted with the ability of timing the ball with precision which can entail runs for him as of late. He'll have to be very patient in the middle, he can never get despondent. Even if the scorecard is disastrous. If he finds himself in the middle of that sort of debacle, he'll have to metamorphose into some "messiah" and salvage his team from where it's at....

Posted by InsideHedge on (November 11, 2012, 18:27 GMT)

Gosh, the 1st to comment on this article (see below), I'm humbled. It truly is a momentous occasion in my life. I'd like to thank....

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 17:59 GMT)

Nafees has played well some days; been trrible more often. The Tigers are still dependent on Tamim and Sakib for runs on a more consistent basis. With the rest, its always a gamble. They will fire sometimes; misfire more often. What the team needs is at least one Dravid like warrior; a wall that will refuse to wilt day in and day out. That's what every top notch team has - Amla, Koli, Jamshed, Sanga etc. Its a matter of time before one such player emerges. In the meantime we will be patient. Getting to the elite level in cricket takes time; more time than what our arm chair critics are willing to grant us.

Posted by AzAb12754 on (November 11, 2012, 17:55 GMT)

West Indies are clear favourites to win this but I just hope there's a good match contest. Shame I just don't have time to watch it good luck to both teams.

Posted by   on (November 11, 2012, 17:44 GMT)

whats the point of bringing him back. he didn't do well in the past wont do well in futures. even if he ends up playing a good innings it will be followed by inconsistent scores. need to give chance to imrul kayes. he is good solid option when tamim is on fire and can also hold the innings together like he did play a good role in bd win against england in world cup.

Posted by Shortcuts on (November 11, 2012, 17:25 GMT)

This is the best possible 11 for Bangladesh for 1st Test - 01.Tamim Iqbal, 02.Shahriar Nafees, 03.Zunaed Siddique, 04.Naeem Islam, 05.Saqibul Hasan, 06.Mushfiqur Rahim, 07.Nasir Hossain, 08. Mahmudullah Riyad, 09.Sohag Gazi, 10.Rubel Hossain and 11.Abul Hasan.

Posted by The_Ashes on (November 11, 2012, 17:09 GMT)

I don't understand why many Bangladesh fans criticise Shahriar Nafees, he's only a few experience players we have and deserves another chance not just in tests but in one-day as well. He has the patience something most Bangladesh batsman lack in this form so it would be idea to have him opening then someone like Nazimuddin. He had issues on the Indian tour earlier in year but seems he had learnt his lesson. The only Bangladesh batsman to have scored a test hundred against Australia so of course you wouldn't leave him out besides, he scored a 50 in the NCL in the last match so he's in form.

Posted by InsideHedge on (November 11, 2012, 16:46 GMT)

It will be interesting to see how WI perform given their intention to break into the Top FIVE Test rankings, all this based on winning the world T20s but no marked improvement in the 5 day game. Bangla won't make it easy for them, it's a great opp for them, I like Nafees' attitude regards the FTP, do the talking thru your performances.

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