After being dropped in the last two ODIs, Soumya Sarkar returned to action in Bangladesh's first T20I against New Zealand at Mclean Park yesterday. When he strode out to bat after the departure of Sabbir Rahman, the burning question was whether he would be able to put behind the batting blues.
He failed again. He scored a first-ball duck. It was a very good delivery for any batsman who has just come to the wicket. But this game in particular was a total disappointment for him. He misjudged a crucial catch offered by New Zealand captain Kane Williamson and then went for 17 runs in the one over he bowled.
Already under pressure to perform to keep his place in the team, Soumya is increasingly becoming a dilemma for the team management, which is keen to keep trying with him, considering him as an asset. But the left-hander, who came onto the scene with a golden bat, has already become public enemy number one in social media. That overflowing hate campaign perhaps played a key role for his axing in the last two ODIs despite the fact that he could have been the automatic choice for those games, especially after the injury to Mushfiqur Rahim.
“We don't have that many players. Not only me but everyone believes that if you look at Soumya's history he is a match-winner of the Bangladesh team. I think nobody has won as many games like Soumya did for us. He is not in form but it's a matter of time for him to come back. He got a platform today but unfortunately he got out to the first ball. I believe at this moment we should keep a cool head and fight with what we have at the moment,” said Mashrafe about the stroke-maker.
Mashrafe's desire to try with what they have understandably implies that he was against the popular sentiment of dropping Soumya. And if that is the case then the board should back the desire of the team management to release that tension prevailing in the team. After all this is the very group, including Soumya, that gave Bangladesh so many successes over the last two years.