He caught the attention of Bangladesh as a little batsman smashing the ball all around the ground, with batsmen like Akram Khan on the other side. The one-day match was against Commonwealth Bank Academy of Cricket (CBCA) and Ashraful ended up with an unbeaten century.
Bangladesh already has good openers, and Ashraful faces tough competition. His international career initially showed a lot of promise. In Asian U-17, he won loud applause for his display. Though Bangladesh had to be content with the runners-up trophy, Ashraful's 69 against India in the final was action-packed.
Surprisingly, he began his career as a specialist leg-spinner who could bat a bit, focussing on his batting later on. His leg-spin does not look hostile at a glance but it is effective nevertheless. So this prodigy is now labelled as an all-rounder who will lead from the front in the future.
In Zimbabwe, Ashraful played a single ODI, dispatching the fearsome Andy Flower with his leg-breaks. With the bat he showed courage after a shaky start. He smashed Bryan Strang twice over the fences but got out for nine attempting the third. He had to handle the hostile Zimbabwean pacemen at number four after two wickets had fallen early.
His innate quality to go for his shots brings him quick runs, but at times costs his wicket too. In the nets Ashraful looks a bit impatient when he tends to play lofty shots at almost every ball.
Javed Omar's position is consolidated after his stunning performance in Zimbabwe. Mehrab Hossain bats well enough at the other end. So the openers for the Tests are almost certain. If one of them plays poorly or suffers an injury, Al-Sahariar is ready to replace him. Ashraful will only get the option to bat at number 1 or 2 when these are out of the team, which is improbable. So he has little chance of appearing in the Tests. As he is branded a one-day specialist, he will be considered for the ODI and he has to prove himself there.