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Anamul looks to improve footwork

Kemar Roach celebrates after dismissing Anamul Haque WICB Media Photo/Randy Brooks

Anamul Haque's beaming smile during practice at his home ground made sense. The young wicketkeeper batsman was appointed the captain of the BCB XI for the Acharya Memorial Trophy in Kolkata, but the real message there was that he was not going to be part of Bangladesh's squad for the first Test against Zimbabwe. In essence, he was dropped to give him time to work on his technique. He scored a duck in his first game in Kolkata, but on the same evening, he was back in the Test squad and is likely to make it to the XI.

It is a quick turnaround for someone who accepted a couple of weeks ago he had technical issues to resolve. Anamul has played four Tests over two years as a top-order batsman and has only 73 runs to show for it. Batting at No. 3 in his latest Test outing in the West Indies, he was caught at slip for 9 in the first innings and was caught behind in the second for a duck. His lack of footwork that hasn't really affected him in the limited-overs format, has been the issue in Tests. Now, he could be playing in Khulna as a middle-order batsman.

"I am thinking about how I can rectify this problem (lack of footwork)," Anamul said. "There were many cricketers in the world who continued playing with this problem but left behind their legacy making 8000 or 10000 runs. I am taking the confidence from those cricketers.

"Recently, I have worked with a forward defence, forward leave and with the swinging ball. The new ball has been a continuous problem for me. If I work hard with these issues, I hope I'll do well in ODI and Twenty20 cricket as well as Tests. Good footwork can make your shot look nice, so it is important also."

Anamul made an encouraging debut in ODIs two years ago as an opening batsman. Playing against West Indies, he scored 41 in his first match and hit a century in his second, both innings in Khulna. He has hit two more centuries in his 22-match career that has made him the first-choice opener along with Tamim Iqbal. However, the chief selector Farukh Ahmed indicated Anamul was being considered for a middle-order spot.

"I am yet to be confirmed and the coach also didn't talk to me about this," he said. "But I have no problem to bat in any position. In fact I was not an opener, I was used to batting in the middle order. During the Under-19 World, I started batting in opening position during the Under-19 World Cup. Since then, I have been playing as an opener.

"There are many examples that a batsman who opens the innings in ODIs bats at another position in Test cricket. So it's not a problem to adjust with it."