Litton: 'Nasum bowled a game-changing spell'

In-form batter feels left-arm spinner's success is testament to his persistence in developing his skills

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Nasum Ahmed picked four wickets for just ten runs  •  BCB

Nasum Ahmed picked four wickets for just ten runs  •  BCB

Litton Das feels Nasum Ahmed's superb spell of 4 for 10 in the first T20I against Afghanistan is a testament to the left-arm spinner's persistence in developing his skills. Nasum's bowling in the powerplay in which he decimated the Afghanistan top order changed the game, according to Litton, who himself made an important contribution of 60 off 44 balls to Bangladesh's total of 155 for 8.
"When we got together in the dressing room for a team meeting mid-innings, we said that this was not a big score, neither is it a small score," Litton said. "Batters have to think if the chase is to get 150-160 runs. Whether they should be aggressive or not. Whether to preserve the wickets. Nasum bowled a game-changing spell. It would have been a different game if he didn't give us the early breakthroughs, like if they were 40 for 1 in the powerplay. I think it was a better wicket, so he bowled brilliantly."
Bangladesh bowled Afghanistan out for 94, the fourth time in the last eight months they've bowled out an opposition for a double-figure total. This was Nasum's third four-wicket haul in T20Is, and it equalled his best figures in the format, which he took against New Zealand last year.
"I have never believed that he is like your average left-arm spinner," Litton said. "I play him a lot in the nets. He always tries to do things differently, particularly in his change of pace. I think that's important in T20s. A batter finds it easy to pick a bowler who bowls in one rhythm."
Litton, whose partnerships with Mahmudullah and Afif Hossain gave Bangladesh the platform for a big finish, put his improved form in the last few months down to his mentality.
"Everyone says cricket is a mental game," he said. "If you think clearly, you will have a lot of time in your hand. I would still say that you get time in T20s even though it is the shortest format. That's mainly because I am in the top-order. I think it is all in the mindset, when you decide how you want to play in each format."
Litton is one of the few Bangladesh batters who is a regular in all three formats. He said that he was confident of going after Afghanistan's bowling having played Mujeeb ur Rahman in the BPL, but added that being in form in other formats also helped him in T20s.
"I think both the format and being in good form matter. It is a different ball game in each format. You have to rush a bit in T20s. You have enough time in ODIs and Tests. Being in good touch helps you in every format.
"We had around 160 in our plans. If we thought of getting more runs, it would have been high-risk batting, especially against their quality of spinners. I was playing Mujeeb well, having faced him regularly in the BPL. I had the confidence to use the circle."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84