Ashraful shows rare consistencyStaff Correspondent
One of the major findings of the Bangladesh cricket team in the Twenty20 tri-series in Zimbabwe is the long over-due consistency of talented Mohammad Ashraful and the batsman gave full credit for it to the new head coach Richard Pybus.
Ashraful, often subject to experiment of overseas coaches’ new coaching method, could not express himself fully after thinking too much on what to follow and what not to.
But thankfully this time Pybus has given him total freedom to be his own self and the player said it started to pay some dividends. For doubters, the evidence is there in the tri-series tournament in Zimbabwe.
With 114 runs in four matches, he is the most successful Bangladeshi batsman in the tournament, averaging 28.5, having made his comeback in the national side since the home series against Pakistan in December.
Pybus asked him to open the innings, despite him having a poor experience in that slot. He never opened the batting in Twenty20 matches, but did the job in one-dayers.
In his 171-match ODI career Ashraful opened the innings 24 times only to score 358 runs at an average of just 14.91. The experiment was such a flop that he never tried it since 2006.
So when he was asked to open the innings with Tamim Iqbal, a sense of déjà vu gripped Ashraful, who, however, had little choice as he has already lost his place in the middle-order.
He had to accept the challenge and apparently he has been successful, giving the team a good start almost in every game, though he is still accused of throwing his wicket at a crucial moment.
‘I am happy to open. It feels nice to contribute consistently as I was in and out of the team for the last two years,’ Ashraful told New Age over phone from Zimbabwe.
‘The coach gave me the freedom to bat the way I want and I am very happy for that because it allows me to bat freely,’ said Ashraful.
The right-hander was, however, still not totally satisfied with his performance as he could not capitalise on the starts.
‘I know that I could not make big scores even after having the starts,’ he said.
‘But still I am happy to give a good start as that is my primary duty in the team,’ added Ashraful.
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