The youngest Test centurion in the history of the game is undergoing a bad patch. Mohammed Ashraful, the diminutive all rounder, who notched up a swashbuckling 114 in his debut against Sri Lanka last year, is passing his hard days after his rose-rimmed beginning.
The next Test he played was against Zimbabwe where he failed to make a mark, neither with his willow nor with his occasional leg-spin. Ashraful was dynamic in his approach against Sri Lanka when he found that memorable hundred against them, but later he was found too smart in his style when it came to deal with the great bowlers of the game. He forgot that all big innings don't come from belligerent stroke play like he did in Colombo - sometimes an attacking batsman has to go to the shell for survival.
Often we saw Ashraful gifted his wicket while attempting a risky shot completely unwanted at that moment. He pulled off once in the moment of crisis (That 114), but such success wasn't repeated for the next 4 Tests he played. From his the next few innings, we can reckon his 33 in the Test against Zimbabwe in Chittagong to be a first-rate innings.
There is another Sri Lanka tour again and Bangladeshis will be glad to see if Ashraful carried off another ton just like before. The kid is talented they know and can deal Murlitharan with skill. Mindful that Sri Lankans were rather lenient while Ashraful was on his way to the three-figure mark (I am not belittling his success). The Lankans knew that they were going to wrap up Bangladesh soon, so they focused at the other end where wickets were falling at regular interval.
All I want to say that Ashraful is yet to have the experience to bat under real pressure. He must learn to get rid of his superfluous smartness, because often it causes his debacle. He must be working on this flaw in the upcoming tour!