Monday, 28 November, 2022

Liton reaping rewards in offence-first mode

Bangladesh batsman Liton Das is reaping the rewards of batting with a changed mindset in the shortest format.

Liton, who opened for the first time in the ongoing ICC men’s T20 World Cup, responded in supreme style with a delightful 27 balls off 60 runs at Adelaide Oval in Australia that saw Bangladesh lose the game in a closely-fought contest against India by five runs on Wednesday.

 Chasing a stiff total of 185, Bangladesh needed a flying start at the top and Liton offered a bit more than that. The 28-year-old keeper-batter took on all three Indian pacers and helped Bangladesh post their best powerplay score (60/0) of the tournament.

 “When you are playing Test or ODI cricket and when you are opening you go with the defence-first policy you want to make sure that if it is a good ball I will defend both in Test and ODIs,” the country’s renowned cricket coach Nazmul Abedin told The Daily Sun on Thursday.

 “In T20, it’s offence-first and you think about the offencive response that suggests if I cannot hit than I will defend and so there is a mental switch like I will attack first and if I fail than I will defend,” he said.

 “It is the style that is followed in T20s. So there is a difference in your thinking pattern between Tests, ODIs and T20s. I think he (Liton) was finding it hard to get a grip on that mental shift and looked like he was stuck somewhere but now it’s a different case altogether,” he said.

“The score we were chasing we could not afford to lose deliveries and he had to go for it and while he was going for it probably he understood that let us get into offense-first mode and I hope he will continue to do the same in the coming days,” he added.

After being dropped from the Bangladesh T20I squad last year, following his dismal show in the World Cup, where he managed to score just 133 runs from eight matches at an average of 16.62 and a strike rate of 94.00.

Liton made a remarkable comeback since his return to the T20I side; the right-handed batsman scored a total of 534 runs in 18 T20Is that includes four 50s with an average of 29.66 and a strike rate of 140.52

“There is a big change in his attitude. I am not talking on cricketing terms there are times when you think you are one of many and there are times when you think yes I am the one. This is a huge difference in the thinking process because when you think you are one of many than you become ordinary and you behave like an ordinary while when you think I am the one and I am better than the others than you started to take responsibility and you get the confidence of doing a lot of things,” said Nazmul.

“Because there is a mental connection with your own ability and probably that was something which was missing in Liton for a long time and probably that (gap between mental and ability) is getting reduced and this is what Liton should be because he that is his ability (the way he played against India),” he said, adding that he is not sure why team management opted not to open with Liton in the World Cup.

Liton remained quite subdued in the World Cup playing at three making 57 runs with 105.55 strike rate in three games while coming to open against India he scored a blistering 60 runs off 27 balls hitting three sixes and seven fours with a strike rate of 222.22.

“Playing him at three means that you are trying to save him rather than trying to use his brilliance in the middle and I am not saying there is anything wrong with that but who will think like that suggests that he is thinking with a defensive mindset. If Liton plays four innings at number three than he will see that we lost a wicket in the first over and he has to save his wicket and play but if he opens he is fresh and he has nothing behind him and he can play his natural game,” Nazmul said.

“If he opens in five games he is expected to score in two or three games with the form he is carrying and it will give Bangladesh a chance to win. Because in the games where he will spend time in the middle it will help the other batsman to bat comfortably because he is expected to lay the platform for them,” he concluded.