Self analysis the way to level up: Salahuddin | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 18, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 18, 2020

Self analysis the way to level up: Salahuddin

Many national cricketers have fallen by the wayside after promising starts to their careers. The likes of Nasir Hossain, Suhrawardi Shuvo, pacer Shahdat Hossain and more recently Sabbir Rahman had shown early promise but did not blossom into regular performers for the national team and failed to feature for the side regularly.

When looking at established stars who have meaningfully consolidated their international careers, often the question arises of what separates them from the rest.

"There have been many who got the chance but they could not hold on to their places. One of the reasons behind that is they were stuck at a certain level and did not break the barrier," Mohammad Salahuddin, a mentor to some of the biggest names in the national team, told The Daily Star.

Salahuddin has seen first-hand the growth of Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and others -- a generation of players that changed the landscape of Bangladesh cricket -- but many of his students also failed to make the mark in international cricket.

He knows a thing or two about the growth of established stars in the national outfit and what others lacked.

"If you look at players like Tamim, Shakib or Mushfiqur, they have improved day by day, both in cricketing terms and mentality. When a player gets stuck at a certain level, they need to figure out what they need to be doing to reach the next level. I think there was a lack of that thought process in certain players. You have to focus on continuous improvement and think of what you can do better in the next series, but some have not been able to do execute their plans accordingly," he pointed out.

"Many stop improving and the patience needed to reach the next level isn't there in everyone," he added.

So, how do the likes of Shakib, Tamim and Mushfiqur keep improving? "In every series, they analyse themselves. I feel that they are very aware of themselves. They know their limitations and also know what they have to do to break through to the next level. For example, let's say I have three shots in my hand and I need to find more options. They do a lot of hard work so that they can play another shot and that's how you increase the range of strokeplay and scoring zone options. If you don't do that, you will be stuck after a certain level. It's the same for the bowlers. If you bowl the same delivery most of the time, batsmen will soon read you easily," Salauddin said.

There are few better examples of the mentor's words than Shakib's performance in the 2019 World Cup in England. Leading up to cricket's showpiece evennt, Shakib was one of the best cricketers in the world, but he staked a claim for all-time honours by putting in arguably the greatest all-round performance in World Cup history.

That despite the fact that Shakib was not playing regularly in the months before and also mostly sat on the sidelines for IPL outfit Sunrisers Hyderabad. The initiative he took for personal preparation stands as an inspiration for any cricketer.

"Shakib knew the bowlers he would be facing, what position he would bat in and which bowlers he would face in certain situations. It's not that he was doing a lot of things; just that he was prepared for the kind of situations he was going to face. These players focus on their weak areas and try to strengthen themselves."

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