Zimbabwe-performer tag upsets Taijul

Staff Correspondent | Published: 22:36, Feb 18,2020

Taijul Islam

Taijul Islam

Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam on Tuesday refused to be tagged only as a ‘performer against Zimbabwe’ as he believed that he had done well with the ball against other countries as well.

‘Actually I didn’t like what has been said. It’s not like that I only get wickets against Zimbabwe. I have played against other teams as well,’ Taijul told reporters in Mirpur as Bangladesh officially kicked off their preparation for one-off Test against Zimbabwe.

Taijul’s track record against Zimbabwe in the longest format is remarkable, as he has taken 35 wickets in only five Tests, which makes him the most successful bowler in Tests between the two nations.

The 28-year old left-arm spinner, who has played 28 Tests and took 108 wickets so far in his career, has four five-wicket hauls against Zimbabwe, including his career-best bowling performance of 8-39 in Mirpur in 2014.

Taijul also made his one-day international debut against Zimbabwe in 2014, and entered the record books by becoming the first cricketer to claim a hat-trick in ODI debut.

Taijul’s effectiveness in the longest format comes into question when he is up against a stronger opponent, which is evident in his modest career average of 33.46 against an impressive average of 21.11 in matches involving Zimbabwe.   

Several Bangladeshi players of the past were also recognised as Zimbabwe-only performers who, eventually failed to replicate the same form against the top quality oppositions and were promptly shown the exit door from the national team.

Left-arm spinner Enamul Haque Jnr, who finished with 6-45 in the second innings of Bangladesh’s maiden Test win against Zimbabwe in Chattogram in 2005, had taken 12 wickets in the series-deciding drawn second Test in Dhaka.

Former opener Nafis Iqbal had struck his only Test hundred against Zimbabwe in the same series while players like pacer Robiul Islam took two five-wicket hauls in Tests against Zimbabwe and leg-spinner Jubair Hossain had also taken a five-for against Zimbabwe in Tests.

But all of those players failed to kick on from their success against Zimbabwe and could not blossom in international cricket.

Taijul claimed that taking wickets in Test was difficult against all opposition and the only way to be successful was to consistently bowl well.

‘If you can’t bowl well against any side you play, you can’t really do well. They are not a bad side completely. If you can’t bowl in good areas, the result will be bad and if you bowl well, you will get chance to get wickets. And it will be helpful for the team,’ he added.

Bangladesh, who lost their last six Tests with five of them coming in innings margin, could get some much needed respite in the format with a win against Zimbabwe, admitted Taijul.

‘Actually we really need to win whoever the opposition may be…If we can win the match, our confidence will be high and this will be very important for our team,’ he added. 

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