Sunday, 24 October, 2021

Soumya remains in his shadows

Soumya remains in his shadows

The Bangladesh team management showed a lot of faith in Soumya Sarkar by giving him the opportunity to play all five T20I matches against Australia but the left-hander failed to live up to their expectations during the entire series.

Before coming to the series against Australia, Soumya scored 126 runs with two fifties during the three-match T20I series against Zimbabwe in Harare last month and was adjudged man of the series in Bangladesh’s 2-1 triumph over the hosts.

In the absence of first-choice openers Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das, there was more responsibility on Soumya’s shoulder to give Bangladesh positive starts at the top against the Aussies.

However, the 28-year old was completely a disappointment during the five-match series where he could make only 28 runs off 50 balls he faced during the series.

Soumya played the first four matches as an opener where he made 2, 0, 2 and 8 runs respectively and despite Bangladesh’s confirming the series win, his poor batting performance became a matter of concern for the Tigers as they were seeking a third opener for ICC World T20, scheduled just a few months later.

Soumya’s lack of form as an opener in the opening four games prompted the team management to demote him at the number four position in the last match of the series on Monday.

However, the left-hander couldn’t make it count also as he made just 16 runs off 18 balls in the series concluding last game and his batting techniques raised quite a few eyebrows in the series.

In the series opener, Soumya tried to make room to play an expansive stroke but ended up giving away his wicket in a comical manner as he cut the ball onto his stumps with the bat and since then nothing seems to go right for him.

He looked uncomfortable against the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa during his brief stays in the opening four games and on Monday he fell to Daniel Christian.

“I think he was thinking that they would bowl short balls (when he opened) but the Australians bowled fuller to him and that put him in two minds,” said a coach who had worked with him for a substantial amount of time. 

“In this wicket, you can’t commit yourself and have to wait for the ball as Daniel Christian did against Shakib (when he hit five sixes in an over).

“What he’s doing is that he was committing in the front foot as that is his initial movement but failing to bring his body weight backwards considering he’s not used to playing against such pace.

“Another thing is that he’s trying to force runs but this wicket doesn’t permit that way of batting which is applicable in the bouncy wicket but it can’t be put up as an excuse,” he added.

 The assessment is validated by statistics as in T20Is he is more successful in foreign conditions as he scored 563 runs in 22 innings abroad at an average of 26.80 and the strike rate of 137.65 and it declines dramatically at home.

Soumya needs to make sure that he starts performing to his potential at home if he wants to make a cut in the upcoming World T20 as the series against Australia and the next home series against New Zealand are considered as their preparation series for the global event.