In 2015, Soumya Sarkar burst into the Bangladesh side and grabbed the spotlight. He became a household name of Bangladesh cricket and his stylish batting was lauded as one of the country's best.
But it has not always been dazzling days for Soumya as he has seen both sides of the coin in his five-year career for Bangladesh. Yet, at 27, he still has a lot of time to improve his repertoire.
During this troubled time of the coronavirus pandemic, The Business Standard's (TBS) spoke to Soumya about his career, his lockdown days and the highlights of his career.
TBS: How are you spending your time in lockdown?
I pass my time chatting with friends and family, watching TV, playing indoor games. Also, I do my gym work a little bit. There is not much space for running but still, I do as much as I can.
TBS: How are you feeling about your married life? Do you feel like it's making you more responsible than before?
Married life is going well. And about responsibility, I have not been able to go out and play yet after getting married. There have been no matches, I am stuck at home, there has been no such situation of taking responsibility. So, I can not say such a thing about being more responsible.
TBS: In your career of five years, you have already seen both sides of the coin. What have you learnt from these ups and downs?
From my experiences, I have had a realisation. It would have been better if I could have converted my many 30-40 run innings to fifties or bigger. Then while going through a bad patch, my record could have looked a little better. Also, it taught me to keep a positive mind during a bad patch.
TBS: You have been dismissed for 80+ scores a few times, do you regret not converting them to centuries?
Definitely. But still, there are many things to learn from those innings. Like, if I am in the same situation again, how do I need to play it or how do I need to handle the situation. I always think of learning from these experiences.
TBS: How were you feeling after the final of the Nidahas Trophy? What was your mental state?
I was feeling very sad because there was an opportunity to win a trophy. If I could have bowled the ball well then Bangladesh would have won their first trophy. So, I regret that.
TBS: You were sent to the 2018 Asia Cup in a great hurry and you could perform particularly well. Any regrets? Do you think you could have done better if you were in the side from the start?
No, nothing particular. I scored a duck against Pakistan in the first match and then scored 30+ in the final. I have no regrets about the first match but I thought that if I had played a little up the order in the second match, I could have done better. I was a little regretful about that.
TBS: You went into the 2019 World Cup in great form but your World Cup did not go quite well. Do you have any regrets about that?
Yes, definitely, I regret that. In most of the matches, I got set and got out. I could not figure out what was going wrong at that time. I was playing really well before the World Cup but I was getting out (in the World Cup) after getting set. So, this regret will remain forever as I could not convert my starts.
TBS: Do you want to improve any aspect of your batting?
Definitely. See, there is no end to improving my batting. The more I play, the more I will learn. I am trying to bring more control to my batting, to prolong my innings a bit more.
TBS: You have played in quite a few positions in the past few months. Is this affecting your performance?
I have always opened the innings. Sure, I face some trouble adjusting, I can not say I do not. To be honest, I feel comfortable to bat up the order.
TBS: Would it be easier if you had a fixed batting position?
Not just for me, (it would be easier) for anyone. It is better if there is a fixed position. The confidence level stays high, the planning becomes easier.
TBS: Shakib Al Hasan was playing at No. 3 before getting banned. Is it any kind of pressure to bat in his position?
No no, I don't bat thinking like that. I will try to do my best as long as I am batting in this position. Later on, when Shakib bhai returns, then we will see, depending on the performance.
TBS: There are a lot of openers around the national team now. Is this a concern for you?
No, definitely not. I only think about how I play, that I will keep playing if I keep playing well. And this is actually a good thing that there are a lot of openers around the national team who are all playing well. This is a good thing for Bangladesh cricket. Whoever plays well will get to play and that will benefit the side, which is the greater interest. So whoever plays, I hope that he plays well.
TBS: Do you see yourself as a proper allrounder in the future?
I have always worked on my bowling. I haven't really got many opportunities as a bowler in the national team. So whenever I get a chance, I try to do something good so that the captain can trust me with the ball at any given situation.
TBS: Do you have any personal plans for the World T20?
No, I am not thinking about that yet. I want cricket to return first.
TBS: How eager are you to play under Tamim's captaincy?
I am very eager to play under his captaincy. I have already played under his leadership (against Sri Lanka, in 2019). I hope that he does well as a skipper.
TBS: With whom have you enjoyed batting the most?
Tamim bhai, (Mahmudullah) Riyad bhai. I feel very good batting with Riyad bhai.
TBS: Your personal favourite innings
My first fifty, against New Zealand in the 2015 World Cup.
TBS: When do you think cricket should return?
For me, it would be great if it returned tomorrow!