As Naim Sheikh perished off a perfect yorker from Shivam Dube, so did Bangladesh's hope to seal the series at Nagpur. An 81-run masterclass chasing 175 should have sealed it, but sadly it did not.
Naim though, must keep his head high and straight. Ensuring the second one would be more necessary, much more than having a sweet taste of playing an incredible knock.
Bangladesh have a few positives to take from the series and surely Aminul Islam and Naim are the standout ones. Aminul proved himself against a quality opposition and Naim showed courage and brilliance, in all three of his innings.
Naim Sheikh ended the series as top-scorer as he scored 143 runs in the three matches on his debut series for the national team.
Whereas the IPL made T20 specialists of India were far behind of Naim in terms of scoring.
Naim scored 26 and 36 in the first two matches, before a blistering 81 in the last. The first innings brought calm to the team after an early loss which led them to a victory, the second was the side's top score, but the middle order's failure ensured that it meant nothing. Same goes for the third, but it was an impressive display of domination and strokeplay. Bangladesh, amidst Tamim Iqbal's absence, needed someone to play his role and Naim, at least for this series, managed to do so. But still, it is too early to give him insurance.
Naim's batting technique resembles Soumya Sarkar, another of Bangladesh's prodigal batsmen who took the international stage by storm but failed to fulfil the promises. Naim depends more on hand-eye co-ordination rather than footwork, which leads him to be vulnerable against spinners. Even though he showed prominence against Chahal and Washington in the third match, Naim surely is more comfortable against fast bowling.
Another side from Naim's batting is he starts slow. Even on his day, he is not the batsman who will hit the ball out of the ground straight away. This was portrayed immensely in the third T20 as he started slowly but as soon as he was in his groove, he punished the bowlers for letting him be there till he was dismissed off a perfect yorker. Naim was only on eight of 15 when the fifth over ended. But three consecutive boundaries off Chahal made him comfortable and he wreaked havoc in the next ten overs. Naim scored 73 off the last 33 deliveries he played, and that shows his ability.
Another thing to be taken into notice is he made the bowlers bowl into his zone, he toyed with Rohit Sharma's captaincy. Yuzvendra Chahal was made to change his length with the wet ball because of Naim's shotplay, and when Rohit changed the field after a boundary, Naim hit another exactly through where the fielder had been.
But yet, a tough journey awaits for the left-handed batsman. He lacks in technique and once he becomes a regular in the side, he will be analyzed a lot more and his technical lackings will be far more exposed than they are. He surely needs to up his game but that is a different topic to be discussed later.
Liton Das and Soumya must be aware now because they now have even more competition. If they can not make sure of consistency, Naim waits in the ranks to grab that opportunity. Naim, himself, also must ensure that he does not fade away like his predecessors.
For now, he deserves a pat on the back. And Bangladesh must take this positive of finding someone in the T20Is to the Test series, where a bigger challenge awaits. They will surely need someone playing better than the pack as Naim did here to win there, but will also need someone who backs him, unless the result will not be any different.