Six years of potential | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 16, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:23 AM, April 16, 2021

Six years of potential

Liton Das has been around in national colours for almost six years now, but everybody is still hoping that the 26-year old batsman grabs his chances as best as he can.

The right-hander is one of those select few that have shown tremendous potential and one could not fault former Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza for saying in March last year after a magnificent knock from the batsman in Sylhet: "Whenever Virat Kohli and Liton Das are at the crease it is a treat to watch".

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Liton has shown his ability previously -- like in the Asia Cup final where he dominated India's bowling in scoring 121 before Bangladesh went down off the last ball -- but those scattered occurrences have hardly justified his calibre.  Instead, he has made many pull at their hair due to his inconsistency.

The right-hander's frustrating inconsistency in his international career so far is reflected in his averages, which belie his talent.

His Test performances have been far off from those of a quality batsman.  In 22 Tests, the three-digit figure has eluded him. Seven fifties in 38 innings and good number of 30-odd-run knocks show that his main problem lies with converting starts into a big knock.

Liton had made a good statement in his first ODI game of 2020 but is yet to find his footing since returning to international cricket after the Covid-19 enforced break. He has continued to face the same problems, scoring 19, 0, and 21 in the three ODIs and 4,6 and 0 in three T20Is during Bangladesh's latest tour in New Zealand, which gives enough indication that he is not in good touch.

Although Liton is known for his wonderful strokeplay, his career has never reached heady heights. When a batsman gets out after scoring 38, 69, 71 and 22 against the West Indies at home, it is hardly a reflection of good temperament.

In 2017, Liton scored 5 and 35 runs in the only Test he has played in Galle so far. A rib injury had ruled him out of the second Test in Colombo, Bangladesh's 100th Test that the Tigers marked with a remarkable win. Will he be able to convert a start into anything substantial when he plays the upcoming two-match Test series in Sri Lanka?

A talented batsman like Liton can take a leaf out of the success story of Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who has also been in national colours for six years. But while Liton continues searching for a permanent spot in the side, Azam has been in search of fulling one dream after another.

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