Zimbabwe in Bangladesh 2015-16 January 12, 2016

Focused Shuvagata returns in new avatar

After a tough introduction to international cricket as a bowler, Shuvagata Hom returns to the T20 squad in a role that suits him better - a lower-order big-hitter

'I am a strokeplayer so I think that's why they picked me in T20s. I enjoy this format' - Shuvagata Hom © Bangladesh Cricket Board

Shuvagata Hom, the Bangladesh allrounder, has found his way back into the Bangladesh team for the first time in six months.

But questions of his faltering Test career do not go away. At the first mention of it, he broke into a wide smile. It wasn't a happy one though; more like one that comes when reminded of a painful memory. He played seven Tests as an offspinner from September 2014 to June 2015, but there were periods when he did not even get to bowl. Also, his batting position was too low to have an impact on the game.

Chief selector Faruque Ahmed had been among those concerned about Shuvagata's place in the Bangladesh side during the Test series against Pakistan in April 2015. Shuvagata was dropped thereafter, but has not gone down without a fight. He made three fifties on Bangladesh A's tour of India and a 92 against Zimbabwe A.

A strong BPL 2015 has also helped - he made only 94 runs in nine innings, but his brisk cameos were just what champions Comilla Victorians needed in the middle and end overs. Those performances have brought him a place in the Bangladesh T20 side to face Zimbabwe later this month, where he will play a role more suited to him, that of a lower-order big-hitter.

"I played in the Test team as a bowling allrounder but I think of myself as a batting allrounder," Shuvagata said. "I got opportunities to bat for the Bangladesh A team after getting dropped from the national team. By doing well in that team, I got back my confidence. I felt that I could make a comeback by making use of those batting opportunities for Bangladesh A. This is an opportunity to get myself a place in the side for the Asia Cup and World T20."

Bangladesh have been searching for batsmen who can play strokes from the get-go with the World T20 coming up, and it has led them to Shuvagata, whose strike rate of 142.42 was the second best in the BPL among batsmen who played at least nine innings. "I am a strokeplayer so I think that's why they picked me in T20s. I enjoy this format because it fits my style of batting. I hope I do well in this series whenever I get a chance.

"In the BPL there were times when I got some time to think out in the middle. But I also tried to play shots instantly in the last few overs," he said.

In September 2014, Shuvagata was thought to be a like-for-like replacement for the specialist offspinner Sohag Gazi. He continued to play that role until his relegation from the national outfit. Now he comes back as a batsman down the order who can hit out from ball one. Will his reinvention be successful? The four T20s against Zimbabwe that start on January 15 will be a good chance to find out.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shovan on January 18, 2016, 13:49 GMT

    Bangladesh has a lotta players who are waiting for their opportunity to cash in but I don't know why a more-than-ordinary player like Shuvagata getting chances after chances. You want to boost his confidence, I get it but if thats the case, let him play with the A team and make him earn his spot. Forget Bangladesh, Shuvagata even won't get a chance in the Nepal Squad. Very very disappointed with his selection, especially now cuz the Asia Cup t20 is knocking at the door.

  • Khondaker on January 13, 2016, 12:52 GMT

    How does he can claim himself a strokemaker? With batting average 12 at 46 T20 matches and strike rate 116 how he is selected is a wonder. Of course, his greatest qualification is that he is from Mymenshing - a nearby district of BCB president.

  • Emon on January 13, 2016, 11:40 GMT

    He doesnt hv capabilities to play for club side let alone national tram.

  • mo on January 13, 2016, 11:05 GMT

    He must have some kind of connection with the BCB, how can he get so many chances where he fails every time. There are better players in our basket than him.

  • Kazi on January 13, 2016, 10:17 GMT

    A lot of T20 games are waiting ahead. That's why he said the format suits him. None actually thought ever about his place at T20 squad before BPL. He himself think also to get just a place in the Test squad. "I enjoy this format because it fits my style of batting." How fast comment changes! Shuvagoto is a T20 Batsman!? I have doubt. Infact, in this process, just to get some quick runs he may leave his basic skills which are more suitable for Test. Whatever, good luck. Let's see what you can do(If you get a chance in the playing 11!) with your batting style in T20 format.

  • Mehdi hasan on January 13, 2016, 5:37 GMT

    it is a hopeless situation, again and again selectors want a replacement of Shakib but simply hom is not good enough ,

  • doctor on January 13, 2016, 4:59 GMT

    at least he is better than nasir in that he can time the ball better and also a better spinner.but still slated to be a flop.becos he aint got the passion to become a star.so i like 2 see him get 1 last chance 2 deliver da goods if he fails its adios mate

  • Ariful on January 13, 2016, 4:43 GMT

    Most people thought Hom is not up to standard for playing international game. But as far as I know, He is a good fine batsman for tests. You may say, he flopped on past, but you should keep mind of his batting position too. If he get chance to bat on 4-6th position he might be the best test batsman for BD after Mushy.

  • first name on January 13, 2016, 4:34 GMT

    @ C3VZN you are one hell of an optimist. Dude!!!

  • Shuab Muhammad Zaber on January 13, 2016, 4:15 GMT

    nothing will be happen... as usual player..

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