Afif Hossain has been one of the most consistent batsmen in the ongoing Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019-20 as he has already notched up 306 runs in 9 innings, averaging 34 and with a strike of 136. He and his opening partner, Liton Das, have been crucial to their team, Rajshahi Royals' success as they have been the most consistent opening stand to get their team off to a flying start.
In the national team though, Afif does not get the opportunity to bat higher up the order and has to bat lower down the order, where it is more important to score quickly than to score big. Afif though is looking forward to bating high up the order and hopes that he will do the same for the national team as he is doing for Rajshahi.
"Surely. I prefer batting up the order, especially at no. 3 in T20s. For now, that opportunity is unavailable in the national team. Where I bat, it is tough to score big. If I get the chance to bat higher, I will try to do well there too," Afif said in the press conference following his man of the match stint against Sylhet Thunder.
Despite preferring the no. 3 position, Afif is opening for Rajshahi on a regular basis. Questioned about this and his partnership with Liton, Afif replied, "I prefer to bat at no. 3 in T20s, I batted there in the first three matches. It's not much different to open and to bat at no. 3 in T20s. Liton and I have been playing together for some time now, we played together for the Sylhet Sixers. There was a problem with the opening position there too and we had to open. Our understanding is good from there and thus we are not facing that much of a problem."
Afif scored 46 runs against Sylhet in the last game of the Sylhet stage, which lay the foundation for his team to grab an easy win. Afif could have notched up his second fifty of the tournament, but couldn't as he was run out trying to steal a quick single. Questioned if that was necessary, Afif replied in the negative and said that there was a slight miscommunication.
"I think that run was not that much necessary because we did not need quick runs. What I think is we had a bit of miscommunication and that led to the run-out. I will try to keep an eye on matters so that this does not happen anymore in the future," the 20-year old.
Despite scoring 306 runs in the tournament, Afif has scored only a single fifty. Asked if he was to get a big score, Afif replied that he hoped to convert his starts and score big.
"Obviously, there is a chance of scoring big. This tournament is going well so I will try to convert my starts. I will try to convert my 40-50 runs innings to bigger ones," he added.
Afif looked to struggle in the initial parts of his innings and was looking restless. He commented on that saying that there was uneven bounce in the pitch and that he always looked to score runs, which might look like that he is restless.
"There was uneven bounce in the wicket, one ball was bouncing well and the other staying low. As the wicket was tough, I was trying something different to score runs. Later on, I started playing normally which helped me to score," Afif stated.
Rajshahi have now qualified for the playoffs with seven wins from their 10 games and now currently sit on top of the BPL points table with 14 points.