Bangladesh in Sri Lanka 2012-13 March 20, 2013

Jahurul looks to keep boosting self-belief

Jahurul Islam might have come in for some criticism for throwing his wicket away at the wrong moment in the Colombo Test, but that has not left him unnecessarily unsettled

Bangladesh's new Test opener Jahurul Islam should have been lauded for his patience in the Colombo Test and for bringing that aspect of batsmanship back into the team. Instead, his untimely dismissal in the second innings in Colombo has cast him in a negative light.

With less than an hour left to play on the third day and Bangladesh seemingly heading towards safety in the second Test, Jahurul tried to loft Rangana Herath straight down the ground. But the ball gripped, spun and beat the batsman who was stranded well short of the crease. It opened up the game for the hosts, allowing them to jam their foot in the door and they did it too. Mahmudullah was dismissed next ball, and Bangladesh were never in the game on the fourth day as Herath ran through the batting order, picking up seven wickets.

However, Jahurul's team-mates appreciated his work, and his intent to bat long has not been shaken: "Everybody is supportive because I tried to bat with patience. As long as I keep batting there will be someone else at the other end and if we can build a partnership, the opponent will always feel the pressure and runs will come. We are not Australia, that we need to score at four runs an over. We must kill time and runs will come automatically."

"I was at the wicket for a long time, faced every one of their bowlers, which gave me confidence. Test cricket tells you to work hard to build your innings. Then it gets easier. I was out in that easy period."

The dismissal was crucial because it gave Sri Lanka the breathing space they were looking for all through Jahurul's partnerships with Tamim Iqbal and then Mominul Haque. He could be blamed, but he couldn't have directly prevented the others from getting out. Jahurul's nearly four-hour stay at the crease was impressive given that this was his comeback into the Test team after almost three years. He has improved greatly as an opener in recent times, scoring heavily in domestic cricket at that position. What has also caught the eye is his ability to change his approach to meet the needs of the game, a point that often goes unnoticed.

These attributes make him a potential candidate to finally solve one of Bangladesh's big issues: Tamim Iqbal has been without a regular opening partner in Test cricket after Imrul Kayes lost his place due to poor form. Nazimuddin and Junaed Siddique have been given chances but failed miserably. While this is the first time he has opened the innings in international cricket, Jahurul has been an opener for Rajshahi Division in first-class cricket.

He missed out on a maiden international batting milestone when he fell to Herath for 48. He hopes to convert such starts into a big innings soon, not just because that will give him a cushion in terms of his place in the side, but also since that would free up his mind. "You need some big innings, which I haven't had in my career so far. I got out after scoring 40-odd in many innings, though I have scored big in domestic cricket. This is why I won't say I am mentally settled like someone like Nasir [Hossain].

"He scored a hundred against Pakistan and got his place cemented. I won't say there is a big gap between his and my ability. But he achieved something and found belief in international cricket. I am yet to achieve anything significant. Once I get it, I will be settled."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • mohammad on March 21, 2013, 16:27 GMT

    I think Bangladesh go for West Indies style.Pick all the T20 specialists- ,Shabbir,Milon,Taskin from BPL for T20 internationals.

  • KH. RAFIQUE on March 21, 2013, 14:25 GMT

    I think Jahurul really needs to grow up more as mentally.The way he got himself out in last innings of last test that shows his immaturity as a TEST batsman.And still I firmly believe that BAN must go for a few different players for TESTs and ODIs specially for the batsmen.Because those batsmen who are both in TEST and ODI are quite complaisant about their positions in the team.Once they are selected for one format of the game they would feel more caring about their wickets.For example Naeem only for Test not ODI;Nafees only for T20 and ODIs but not in TEST;Mominul only for TESTs not in ODI or T20 etc.In this way we can rotate for more players for the right combinations and players will be always on their heel to perform.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2013, 4:56 GMT

    @TheVillain, Nasir scored 100 against pakistan in 2012 in an ODI at Dhaka.

  • mohammad on March 20, 2013, 18:09 GMT

    There is real gap between Nasir and Jahurul.However, yes, he tried to get his 50 and caused his team loose the match.This is what happens actually.You prefer personal milestone over team's purpose and eventually lose both.

  • Mike on March 20, 2013, 15:55 GMT

    100 against Pakistan??? Jahurul in my opinion is more suited in one-day Cricket then test Cricket. His biggest weakness is pace and should not be in Bangladesh test plans. Stick with Anamul because his first class record is one of the best in Bangladesh. I think this is Bangladesh best test 11 especially to tour to Zimbabwe - Tamim, Anamul, Ashraful, Shahriar, Shakib, Rahim, Nasir, Gazi, Abul, Rubel and any of Robiul/Shafiul/Nazmul.

    Mominul Haque I feel has a poor defence and left hand batsman left hand bowler, already have an established left hand batsman left hand bowler Shakib.

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