Bangladesh left-arm spinner Taijul Islam said that he is working on some new techniques so that he can show off his mastery in spin bowling not only at home but also in overseas conditions.
Taijul stated that Tigers’ spin bowling coach Daniel Vettori is helping him in this endeavour. Keyed up by his well advice, Taijul has fixed his focus on utilising this break.The left-arm spinner hinted that he might bring in some change in his action and landing to make those new techniques effective in overseas conditions.
Vettori has said that the diversity Taijul has in his armoury is enough to tame the opposition in home conditions but he has to learn some more techniques which are crucial to doing well in foreign condition especially in countries with grassy or flat pitches.
“The things which I am working on are very technical. It will not be easy for me to make everyone understand those. The ‘side spin’ benefits our spinners on the turning wickets in our country because it goes either straight or takes a bit turn when it lands,” said Taijul Islam who is yet to consolidate his position in ODI and T20I squad despite featuring regularly in Tigers’ Test eleven.
“When we play on flat or grassy wickets, the ‘top spin’ is very important for us. In top-spin, it’s difficult to understand which one is coming in towards the stumps and which one is going out. It will be very crucial for us when we go to play on foreign conditions,” he said.
“I talked with Vettori. He told me that my bowling is perfect for conditions in Bangladesh but I have to acquire some skills to be successful abroad because the wickets overseas are either flat or grassy. Considering this, I have to bring many changes in my bowling which I am now trying to incorporate in my bowling. These changes might appear to be miniscule but they will affect my action and landing. I am working on those things,” added Taijul.
So far, Taijul played 29 Tests for Bangladesh coupled with 9 ODIs and 2 T20Is after stepping into the international arena.Of all the Tests he took part in, he played only 10 Tests in overseas conditions where he claimed just 21 wickets. But he grabbed 93 wickets playing only 19 Tests on home soil.
Taijul praised Daniel Vettori for motivating him to focus on white-ball cricket and feels that he can have an impact in any format as he starts his second innings as a bowler for Bangladesh. “When Sunil Joshi was our coach (spin bowling coach), I worked with him on Test bowling as my mindset was fixed to Tests. When Vettori arrived, he saw my bowling and said that I can play in all formats with the skills I have, all I need to do is some fine-tuning,” he pointed out. “I did some work under him, especially on pace variations. That helped a lot. Now my pace variation and some other skills are getting better,” he added.
Taijul added that now he is working on delivering at different pace without altering his action and he is getting close to perfection with each passing day.
“There are a lot of things to work on, such as how the body will be positioned, making action look similar while changing pace, body angle, where the hand will be, head position, ball grip and ball release position. All of these issues are being worked on,” said Taijul.
“Earlier, I used to bowl with the same pace most of the time and the delivery position and the speed made it easy for the batsman to decide whether he wants to hit the ball or not. Test cricket is very different compared to limited-overs cricket. In ODIs, this strategy doesn’t work particularly well. The batsmen picked me faster and played accordingly but now it will be different. The variations have increased, so the batsman will think a bit before playing a shot. I have tried these in Tests as well. I started experimenting during the tour to India and continued on during the Zimbabwe Series. I have bowled at variety of speeds starting from of 78 kmph to 92 kmph. Earlier, the variation in speed was not this drastic,” felt Taijul.
Despite being successful in the limited-overs format in domestic cricket, Taijul didn’t get a consistent run at the international level. The spinner, though, isn't losing sleep over it and is waiting for his opportunity to arrive. “I am considering myself to be going through the commencement of a second innings in shorter formats. I believe that I can do well in ODIs. When I first played ODIs, I did well. Then I played a match at ICC World Cup 2015. I couldn’t bowl well in that match,” he said.
“Those who selected the team, surely they know and understand the bigger picture much better than me (that’s why they didn't pick me). I don't know the reason. It was not my decision. Maybe they thought I can't deliver or I am not ready for ODIs. I had a hat-trick on my debut, but that was not against a strong team (against Zimbabwe). Maybe I couldn't do well against the strong teams. They might have thought that they would pick me when I am better prepared. I have no complaints regarding that but now that they are considering me, I am obviously happy,” said Taijul.
“I have never been frustrated with these things (whether I am selected or not) because I know, I will receive what I have written in my destiny. I have to work hard to earn it (a permanent place in the shorter format squad). My mind needs to be sharp to do that,” concluded Taijul.