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Tigers aim to make dream start in New Year

55Soumya hopes to get back rhythm against Zimabwe

A poor BPL outing following a blockbuster international year has raised a question when hardships and disappointments lie in wait for Soumya Sarkar, a batsman who gave the Bangladesh top order a rare solidity since his debut.
Soumya would get the T20 series against Zimbabwe to reply those questions but for the time being he seemed to have unfazed. For a batsman who made 672 runs in 15 ODIs in the last year, with the highest average (51.69) in his team, didn’t however much to be worried with a single-tournament failure.
But yet the series against Zimbabwe is significant for him, to see how he comes back after a long injury lay-off which forced him to miss the series against the same opponent in last October.
He will back to the international circuit after seven months, having played the last series against South Africa in July 2015.
“I wasn’t in form after recovering from my injury. The BPL wasn’t so good for me but I worked hard and hoped for the best,” Soumya who had just one half-century in BPL, told the reporters in Khulna yesterday.
That one half-century in the tournament however didn’t justify the talent he got. If that scared Soumya, he would get the venue particularly to his liking to hit back to the form. The Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium which will host all of the four T20s between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, was just adjacent to Satkhira, the home town of the hard-hitter.
“To be honest, yes I am also concerned about my form but these things are part of the professional career. I want to overcome this through hard work in the nets and at the moment I am trying my level best. The team management and the seniors are helping me out, hopefully I will soon be in my rhythm,” Soumya said, adding the venue close to his home town would be the resource of his motivation.
Soumya however summed up the goal of the team stating, “We want to start the year with a win. We will have all our focus on that. No one goes into the middle with intention to lose, so does we. Wins from last year will keep us motivated and hope we will be able to make best use of that.”
Bangladesh had a dream run in the year 2015 and they are inclined to hold onto that given there are two multi-national events in months time – the Asia Cup Twenty20 2016 and ICC World Twenty20.
They are scheduled to stay in Khulna till January 31 to continue their practice session even after the completion of the series. Thereafter they have planned to set up a camp in Chittagong. Bangladesh would have to move to other cities because of unavailability of facilities in Dhaka due to the upcoming ICC U19 World Cup.
Former Bangladesh captain and current Bangladesh team manager Khaled Mahmud said the Zimbabwe series is the platform for the players to ready themselves for the Asia Cup T20 and the ICC World Twenty.
At the same time the series will help the think tanks of the team to assess the players and prepare the best possible team for the two upcoming events, according to Mahmud.
“We have planned to prepare the team here in Khulna and at the same time also assess the players. There is a good competition amongst the players at the moment to sustain in the team but I don’t think any of them are under pressure. All have taken the competition sportingly and as far as I have seen, they are enjoying it,” Mahmud pointed out.
The Bangladesh set off their Khulna camp playing two Twenty20 practice matches between Mashrafe (Bin Mortaza) XI and Shakib (Al Hasan) XI.
In the first match, Shakib’s Green team beat Mashrafe’s Red by 19 runs. Green team scored 151 for six in 20 overs with Mushfiqur Rahim making the highest 57. Red team was restricted to 132 for seven. Green skipper Shakib claimed two wickets. Till filing of this report, the second match was going on.