When Ariful Haque was picked in the eleven for the first Test against Zimbabwe, there were a lot of questions over his role as the number seven batsman in the line-up. But it was the debuting Ariful who stood above all other Bangladesh batsmen during their disastrous 151-run defeat at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
In Bangladesh's dismal first innings of 143 all out, the right-hander remained unbeaten on 41 off 93 balls as he ran short of partners at the other end. Ariful once again showed his ability with the bat in the second innings and added 38 runs which, was the second-highest score of the innings, before he became the last batsman to be dismissed.
The 25-year-old said that his maiden Test helped him realise the difference between domestic and international cricket, giving him much needed confidence for the coming days.
“The first Test went pretty well and I have gained a lot of confidence. In international cricket bowlers will not give you bad deliveries that often and you have to wait for it. I realised what I needed to know. There are certain changes in mentality that take place only after playing at the top level and I think it came for me too,” Ariful told reporters ahead of the Tigers' first training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday, ahead of tomorrow's second Test.
Mostly known for his hard-hitting ability and even tagged as a limited-overs specialist although Ariful has a better first-class record, he said that he wanted to forget the performance of his first Test and look to improve.
“I have not done anything significant and I am thinking of doing something big. Even if I am able to give 90 per cent it will be good for me. I have scored runs in the first Test but I want to forget that and think of how to do better in the coming days. I have always dreamed of playing Tests and want to play for a long time. I am willing to play in all the formats as per requirement,” he added.