It was around four months ago when Imrul Kayes hammered a century in a warm-up game against England in Fatullah and in the process replaced a struggling Soumya Sarkar in the ODI outfit. He ended up scoring a century in the first ODI against England as well and many at that point believed that it would take Soumya, who had previously been given a number of chances to improve his form, a very long time to find a place back in the eleven.
However, as fate would have it, Imrul was injured in the first Test of the recently concluded New Zealand tour and that is when Soumya stepped up and scored a good-looking 86 in the first innings of the second Test. He had also played well in the preceding T20I series.
As Bangladesh stands on the brink of a historic Test series against India, Imrul seems fit. However, after yesterday's practice match, it will not be unreasonable to say that Soumya has a better chance of partnering Tamim Iqbal than Imrul when the first Test at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad starts on Thursday.
While most of the batsmen failed, Soumya scored 52 in the first innings of the warm-up game against India A yesterday, and seemed to dominate the attack with nine fours and one six.
The left-hander was understandably not too keen on speaking on this particular issue. “I am not thinking about that and I didn't play my innings keeping Imrul bhai in mind. Imrul bhai will play in his way and I will play in mine. There's no confusion here. I am not competing with anyone except myself. I need to improve,” said Soumya.
He felt that he had adjusted well to an uneven wicket at the Gymkhana Ground in Hyderabad and expects the main Test to be played on a much better wicket.
“We just tried to adjust to the wicket. It would have been better had I played a slightly longer innings. The wicket was a bit two-paced and initially I faced some trouble. The deliveries of the spinners were up and down. I think the main surface will be better,” said Soumya.
“Actually, no matter how the wicket behaves, we have to play well and as per the merit of the wicket. I really want to do well since this is the first Test that Bangladesh is playing here. I want to make it memorable. If we do well here, we will get more chances to come here,” he added.