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Soumya Sarkar: 'Biggest competition is with myself'

"If I think of competing with others, it puts pressure on me," he said

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Soumya Sarkar walks back after getting dismissed, New Zealand vs Bangladesh, 1st ODI, Dunedin, March 20, 2021

Soumya Sarkar scored only his second fifty this year in the first T20I  •  AFP via Getty Images

Bangladesh allrounder Soumya Sarkar said he has to better prepare himself mentally in order to become a more consistent batter. He was adjudged Player of the Match for his half-century along with bowling figures of 1 for 18 in two overs against Zimbabwe in the first T20I in Harare, where the visitors won by eight wickets.
Sarkar made 50 off 45 balls with four fours and two towering sixes. He said that he made a nervous start when he was nearly run-out in the first over, but a six off Luke Jongwe in the fifth over relaxed him.
"I was playing my first international match after four months so I felt a bit shaky at the start," Sarkar said. "When some of my first shots were going to hand, I told myself to take a bit of time. A four or a six would open things up for me, I thought. When I got a preferred ball and struck the six, I got my confidence back."
This was only Sarkar's second fifty this year. He was given a chance in one Test against West Indies and the ODI series against New Zealand, without much success. Sarkar's inconsistency resulted in him being constantly shuffled in and out of the team as well as up and down the batting order.
"When I was out of the team, I practiced with purpose, particularly during the DPL T20s. I will continue to focus on certain areas of my game. I have to be more mentally fit to be more consistent.
"My biggest competition is with myself. If I think of competing with others, it puts pressure on me. I want to do well myself, and get back my place in the team," Sarkar said.
Sarkar was later dismissed in a needless manner. After completing the run to reach his fifty, he ran himself out when a back-handed flick by Regis Chakabva caught him short of the crease trying a second run off the same delivery.
"I felt that we could have finished the game two overs earlier if I wasn't run out in that manner," he said. "It was disappointing to get out. I thought that I was playing their left-arm spinner well, so I would have charged him further if I was around."
Sarkar said that Mohammad Naim's three fours in the fourth over gave them the momentum required to chase down 153, which Bangladesh achieved with more than one over remaining.
"I was supposed to bat at No 3, but the coach told me at the innings break that I would be opening in Liton's place. I had to prepare myself mentally, and speak to the new partner and bat according to the conditions.
"When we were going slow at the start, I told Naim that one big over will bring the flow in our favour. When he struck those three fours in the fourth over, things changed quickly," he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84