The Daily Star (TDS): We have witnessed a huge change in you since the lockdown last year. How did you manage to do that? What are the areas you worked on?
Taskin Ahmed (TA): I was not in a good condition when the lockdown started. A lack of form and injury left me mentally disturbed. Then I made up my mind to make a comeback. During the pandemic, I spoke to Dr Debashish Chowdhury and told him that if I was unable to improve my fitness, then my condition would get even worse. I want to come back strong. Despite training being stopped at that time, Debashish Bhai gave me time and I started training with him. At the start, I had some doubts and I went through depression after feeling that I may not able to do it. Then I took help from one of my elder brothers (Khalid), who is a psychologist, and I started working on both the body and mind.
TDS: Did the doubts arise due to your previous lifestyle?
TA: It was a combination of everything that dragged me down. Obviously, my lifestyle was related to some injuries as well but those are fine now by the grace of Almighty. Now I believe a lot on the process and feel that if my process is right then everything will be better. Performance may not be in my hands, but I should give my best to work honestly.
TDS: You bowled longer spells in Sri Lanka with good pace. Did you just work on your fitness or were there also some technical changes to your bowling?
TA: Actually, it is a mixture of both fitness and mindset. If both your body and mind are not at the top level, then it's difficult to generate pace. Suppose I am trying to bowl faster with my willpower, but my body is not supporting. It won't work. It is because of the two aspects I think things improved a lot from the past.
TDS: Ottis Gibson told me that you have worked with your run-up…
TA: Yes, I worked on it in New Zealand and I have been working a lot with him and I can see the improvements. Ottis has helped me a lot and all the pacers of the national team are enjoying working with him.
TDS: You have also developed your swing…
TA: It is because of the improvement of my seam position and it will improve more. To be honest, I won't say I have done exceptionally well in the Sri Lanka series. It's not like that. Yes, there are some positives but I still believe my best is yet to come and I hope to become better.
TDS: Do you think the team should have more belief in pacers?
TA: It's not that everything is done by looking at one series (Sri Lanka tour). I may have done well but I want the pitches in our domestic circuit to be sporting. If the first-class pitches and condition are sporting, it helps fast bowlers to get better.
TDS: There have been so many dropped catches of your bowling. Do you feel bad?
TA: I never show my reaction as it's a team game and I need to keep that in mind so that the morale of the team doesn't go down. Sometimes it feels bad.
TDS: At times do you feel why always me?
TA: I don't want to regret it as dropped catches are also part of cricket. One day you might see I am getting the most wickets in a game and the fielders have caught the most number off catches of my bowling.
TDS: You have already spent five years in international cricket. Have you set any goal on where you want to see yourself when you finish your career?
TA: I can't say about any specific goal but I aim big. I want to become a world-class bowler. My dream is big and I want to win a lot of matches for Bangladesh but it's not that I want to take 200 or 300 wickets.
TDS: Your plan for the upcoming Sri Lanka series?
TA: Obviously I want to do well. I want to do better than what I did in the previous Test series and don't want to repeat the mistakes of the past.