SL Emerging Team v Bangladeshis, Matara, 3rd day March 5, 2013

Ashraful targets second coming

  shares 20

Mohammad Ashraful will see a doctor in Galle for an eye allergy that has recurred several times in the last eight years, ahead of what is now certain to be his first Test match in more than a year. The problem hasn't affected his batting so far, but Ashraful wanted it checked as a precautionary measure, rather than ride on luck as he has done during the home season.

It wasn't good fortune, however, that brought him a century in Bangladesh's tour game in Matara. Ashraful worked hard to reach his second first-class hundred this season, this one being as crucial as the one in Bogra a few months ago.

Ashraful had recently said playing in that Bangladesh Cricket League game was lucky, because he had been woefully out of form and was almost on the verge of giving himself a break from cricket. He later scored a hundred in the BPL too, which he also believed was due to luck. One would imagine that his last-minute inclusion in the Test side for Sri Lanka was also fortunate, after Shahriar Nafees suffered a freak accident at home.

There was little luck, however, during his 102 against the Sri Lanka Development Emerging Team. He steadily built an innings that looked un-Ashraful like, but was more effective than the blitzes he is famous for. His effort helped his team score 479.

"I wanted to build an innings," Ashraful said after the game had ended in a draw. "I tried to leave a lot of balls, kept my eye on making sure we have a partnership. Sometimes when the bowling is good and you are not settled, the best place to bat is at the non-striker's end. I tried to do that today, especially at the start of the innings."

Ashraful averages 22.60 in 57 Tests, but he believes a second coming is possible. He also picked a role model in a bid to bring his faltering career back on track.

"I am trying to resurrect my career like [Tillakaratne] Dilshan did since 2009. I would play in the same way, but I want to bat in the top order and take it from there. I think I am at an age when I want to have a second coming, and from the top order, I think I can target that. I haven't had a great career so far, so I want to grab this opportunity."

Dilshan had changed position as a batsman, turning himself into a destructive opener in the 2008-09 season, and has been more consistent compared to when he was an allrounder batting lower in the order.

Ashraful's humility about an unfulfilled career could make a difference in the next two weeks.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bangladesh5 on March 7, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    Like I've always said, it hasn't been a technical problem but rather a mental problem with Ash. Because as we've seen, your technique doesn't have to be perfect in order to be successful, it's about making your technique and style work and we've seen in flashes that it can clearly work. Problem is, it's just flashes and not a steady flow. Too much pressure in the beginning and the lack of support at the time of his career is the reason why he along with Alok and Aftab did no justice to their talent. He's still relevant while others aren't because of hard work. So credit to him there but he needs to have that self belief and take the pressure off. There's obviously time still left but now is the time he needs to click or else he might not be taken again. He has an excellent chance here. Best of luck Ash and hope you perform

  • on March 8, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    This is a joke averages 22 after 57 Tests.

    Comparing himself to Dilshan is just a joke. Even as a middle order batsman Til Dil played some fine innings. In fact from 10 tests onwards his average has never dropped below 35.

  • on March 7, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    Love you ash. Just stay in the ground. Try not to play cut shoots.

  • M_Rakibul_Islam on March 6, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    2nd coming? Is he kidding? It is rather nth coming for him (n=5/6 or something like that) I can't remember how many times he dropped from main squad & made a comeback only due to lack of batsmen.

  • on March 6, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    Sounds to good to be true.If it works out then it will be a fairytale ending to his faulty career.The only problem is that fairytales seldom comes true.

  • BD_CRICKET_FAN on March 6, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    Ashraful is the man of BD cricket of that time when there was no player like Sakib, Tamim. At that time he was the only match winner. We all know about his capability to play great innings. But, I think he should had given chance rather than just thrown him out from the team. I think, no coach had spent enough time for him as they do now for tamim, sakib, and others. Look at shewag, Afridi. As a batsman they are not consistent all the time, but they are given chances. Now BD has options, but still they didn't get batsman like of ashraful capability.

  • bangla_slog on March 6, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    I am not a big Ashraful fan. But his humility is encouraging. Keep your foot on the ground and work hard, Ashraful. Make the good form count.

  • on March 6, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    This is probably Ashraful's last chance to revive his career.I hope he can make immense.This knock is a confidence booster for him.All the best!

  • Warm_Coffee on March 5, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    Ashraful had so much pressure back then where there were no Tamim, Shakib, Rahim etc maybe this is his moment now. He scored a 100 at BCL last month then a 100 at BPL and now a 100 in this tour who knows? still only 28 years of age.

  • RK204 on March 5, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    I love u ash... love to see u play ...really i'm saying it from my heart... U have tried a lots of things in your career ... let's try another 1 thing pls ... 4 THE TEST MATCHES .. you forget about hitting boundaries..keep concentrate on singles and doubles and by doing so try to make 40-50 runs then go for your natural stroke playing shots...... just like COOK play ... u can follow him... he scored double hundreds in this fashion against INDIA recently...ALLAH vorosha :) all the best

  • Bangladesh5 on March 7, 2013, 1:44 GMT

    Like I've always said, it hasn't been a technical problem but rather a mental problem with Ash. Because as we've seen, your technique doesn't have to be perfect in order to be successful, it's about making your technique and style work and we've seen in flashes that it can clearly work. Problem is, it's just flashes and not a steady flow. Too much pressure in the beginning and the lack of support at the time of his career is the reason why he along with Alok and Aftab did no justice to their talent. He's still relevant while others aren't because of hard work. So credit to him there but he needs to have that self belief and take the pressure off. There's obviously time still left but now is the time he needs to click or else he might not be taken again. He has an excellent chance here. Best of luck Ash and hope you perform

  • on March 8, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    This is a joke averages 22 after 57 Tests.

    Comparing himself to Dilshan is just a joke. Even as a middle order batsman Til Dil played some fine innings. In fact from 10 tests onwards his average has never dropped below 35.

  • on March 7, 2013, 6:03 GMT

    Love you ash. Just stay in the ground. Try not to play cut shoots.

  • M_Rakibul_Islam on March 6, 2013, 17:06 GMT

    2nd coming? Is he kidding? It is rather nth coming for him (n=5/6 or something like that) I can't remember how many times he dropped from main squad & made a comeback only due to lack of batsmen.

  • on March 6, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    Sounds to good to be true.If it works out then it will be a fairytale ending to his faulty career.The only problem is that fairytales seldom comes true.

  • BD_CRICKET_FAN on March 6, 2013, 11:04 GMT

    Ashraful is the man of BD cricket of that time when there was no player like Sakib, Tamim. At that time he was the only match winner. We all know about his capability to play great innings. But, I think he should had given chance rather than just thrown him out from the team. I think, no coach had spent enough time for him as they do now for tamim, sakib, and others. Look at shewag, Afridi. As a batsman they are not consistent all the time, but they are given chances. Now BD has options, but still they didn't get batsman like of ashraful capability.

  • bangla_slog on March 6, 2013, 3:29 GMT

    I am not a big Ashraful fan. But his humility is encouraging. Keep your foot on the ground and work hard, Ashraful. Make the good form count.

  • on March 6, 2013, 2:30 GMT

    This is probably Ashraful's last chance to revive his career.I hope he can make immense.This knock is a confidence booster for him.All the best!

  • Warm_Coffee on March 5, 2013, 22:08 GMT

    Ashraful had so much pressure back then where there were no Tamim, Shakib, Rahim etc maybe this is his moment now. He scored a 100 at BCL last month then a 100 at BPL and now a 100 in this tour who knows? still only 28 years of age.

  • RK204 on March 5, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    I love u ash... love to see u play ...really i'm saying it from my heart... U have tried a lots of things in your career ... let's try another 1 thing pls ... 4 THE TEST MATCHES .. you forget about hitting boundaries..keep concentrate on singles and doubles and by doing so try to make 40-50 runs then go for your natural stroke playing shots...... just like COOK play ... u can follow him... he scored double hundreds in this fashion against INDIA recently...ALLAH vorosha :) all the best

  • on March 5, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Best wishes and good fortunes Ashraful. May the wind be at your back and may the pitch come up to meet you!

  • cricketanand12 on March 5, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    Yeah,why cant he be dilshan of bangladesh,now bangladesh is not a weak team,only problem is that they are consistently unconsistent.Now they have got good spinners like gazi,eliash,enamul,razaq,fast bowler like robiul,allrounder like shakib,batsman like tamim,nafees,marshall ayub,rahim,jahirul,nasir,nazmul hossain milon,mahmudulalah and sorry if i am forgetting someones name.But this man,shown us his calibre against aus,when he made a great 100 against world quality attack of mcgrath,gillespie,kasprowicz,hogg...only thing needed is go and make your health,make siz packs and be as powerful to hit sixes in all parts of world.

  • Rafelgibt on March 5, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    Yet another unfold flop story written by Md. Ashraful is coming out for sell.Those who wants that grab a copy as a souvenir of Ashraful.No doubt about that this is his last appearance as team Bangladesh member if selectors dont pity him in the near future.I thought he might score one 50+ innings in the Test innings then few digit score in the rest of the series.But he already proved me wrong scored a century in the practice match and ensured us that he will score not more than 50 runs in the upcoming 4 innings in the test matches.Sorry mate but this is end of the road of a journey.Have a nice life after CRICKET.

  • on March 5, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    if he wants he could one of the best cricket player of the world .ash we wish u play good cricket and make yourself a legend . ash u have capability to do this . wish from your best fan

  • RK204 on March 5, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    ha ha ha...i don't think his gonna change even though i am hoping all the best for him but to be fair he is not that kind of a player.. :( he scored 100 in this game so it's almost sure that next 4 innings he is not going to make more than 30... god bless him :)

  • on March 5, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    You know ashraful...if you are reading...you did every thing what you had to. No cricketer in this world took the expectation of whole nation. No one realizes that no one given you chance rather you always gave them the chance to dream. One shoulder for whole nation isnt it way too much! Every body has mouth but only you had bat and you still have that.

    Every sane person in Bangladesh even around the world loves you. You do good or bad, you are our boy, we love you. Remember you given chances of to us but we didnt gave you nothing when there was no hope.

  • AzAb12754 on March 5, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Yes its true he has failed to live up in his International career but when in form, he's no doubt a joy to watch bat. I didn't know he holds the record of being the youngest test centurion which clearly shows his talent but didn't make the most of it.

  • The_Ashes on March 5, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    These injuries are starting to scare me but I'm just glad Ashraful is doing this check-up now rather than risking it. He knows this is his probably his last opportunity to be in the team for a long period and wish him all the luck.

  • bangla_slog on March 5, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    I am not a big Ashraful fan. But his humility is encouraging. Keep your foot on the ground and work hard, Ashraful. Make the good form count.

  • on March 5, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    Great cricketer..Love him since his debut 100 vs our SL team in 2001. Good luck Ash!

  • on March 5, 2013, 15:37 GMT

    Great cricketer..Love him since his debut 100 vs our SL team in 2001. Good luck Ash!

  • bangla_slog on March 5, 2013, 15:38 GMT

    I am not a big Ashraful fan. But his humility is encouraging. Keep your foot on the ground and work hard, Ashraful. Make the good form count.

  • The_Ashes on March 5, 2013, 15:49 GMT

    These injuries are starting to scare me but I'm just glad Ashraful is doing this check-up now rather than risking it. He knows this is his probably his last opportunity to be in the team for a long period and wish him all the luck.

  • AzAb12754 on March 5, 2013, 16:06 GMT

    Yes its true he has failed to live up in his International career but when in form, he's no doubt a joy to watch bat. I didn't know he holds the record of being the youngest test centurion which clearly shows his talent but didn't make the most of it.

  • on March 5, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    You know ashraful...if you are reading...you did every thing what you had to. No cricketer in this world took the expectation of whole nation. No one realizes that no one given you chance rather you always gave them the chance to dream. One shoulder for whole nation isnt it way too much! Every body has mouth but only you had bat and you still have that.

    Every sane person in Bangladesh even around the world loves you. You do good or bad, you are our boy, we love you. Remember you given chances of to us but we didnt gave you nothing when there was no hope.

  • RK204 on March 5, 2013, 16:55 GMT

    ha ha ha...i don't think his gonna change even though i am hoping all the best for him but to be fair he is not that kind of a player.. :( he scored 100 in this game so it's almost sure that next 4 innings he is not going to make more than 30... god bless him :)

  • on March 5, 2013, 16:58 GMT

    if he wants he could one of the best cricket player of the world .ash we wish u play good cricket and make yourself a legend . ash u have capability to do this . wish from your best fan

  • Rafelgibt on March 5, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    Yet another unfold flop story written by Md. Ashraful is coming out for sell.Those who wants that grab a copy as a souvenir of Ashraful.No doubt about that this is his last appearance as team Bangladesh member if selectors dont pity him in the near future.I thought he might score one 50+ innings in the Test innings then few digit score in the rest of the series.But he already proved me wrong scored a century in the practice match and ensured us that he will score not more than 50 runs in the upcoming 4 innings in the test matches.Sorry mate but this is end of the road of a journey.Have a nice life after CRICKET.

  • cricketanand12 on March 5, 2013, 17:33 GMT

    Yeah,why cant he be dilshan of bangladesh,now bangladesh is not a weak team,only problem is that they are consistently unconsistent.Now they have got good spinners like gazi,eliash,enamul,razaq,fast bowler like robiul,allrounder like shakib,batsman like tamim,nafees,marshall ayub,rahim,jahirul,nasir,nazmul hossain milon,mahmudulalah and sorry if i am forgetting someones name.But this man,shown us his calibre against aus,when he made a great 100 against world quality attack of mcgrath,gillespie,kasprowicz,hogg...only thing needed is go and make your health,make siz packs and be as powerful to hit sixes in all parts of world.

  • on March 5, 2013, 19:01 GMT

    Best wishes and good fortunes Ashraful. May the wind be at your back and may the pitch come up to meet you!