While the former national captain Minhajul Abedin-led selection committee of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is busy preparing the squad for the solitary Test against Afghanistan, Najmul Hossain Shanto is at the center of discussion to be selected in the team after hitting a ton for the emerging team of Bangladesh in a four-day match against their Sri Lankan counterparts.
The left-handed batsman got his Test cap during the Bangladesh’s New Zealand tour back in 2017 when a few number of top-order batsmen were unable to play due to injuries, and Shanto was with the team as a rookie. In that unavoidable circumstance, the former coach Chandika Haturusingha awarded the Test cap to Shanto.
However, the batsman did not get another chance to play for the country in the most prestigious form of the game until the home series against Zimbabwe in 2018. But the southpaw failed to impress as his highest Test total remains 18 in four innings.
Along with playing two Tests, Shanto represented Bangladesh in three ODIs as well. But he failed to come up with an impressive knock, which left him away from the national team set-up. However, with a timely ton against Sri Lanka emerging team, he tuned his bat up to claim another call to the senior side.
“Shanto has been playing very well and he is of course in our discussion. We are talking to the coach, team management and the captain to finalize the Test team,” Minhajul told the media on Thursday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
The batsman himself believes that he is now well prepared to play international cricket. But he seemed reluctant to comment on his selection while talking to UNB over phone from Khulna, where he is playing the four-day game against Sri Lanka.
“It is really good that I have struck a ton in the ongoing four-day game against Sri Lankan emerging team. In fact, I always try to do well wherever I get a chance to play. But it is (to be selected in the national team) not up to me. If the selectors think I am now capable enough to represent my country in international circuit, they will make a decision regarding selection. I just want to focus on my own job,” Shanto told UNB.
“I played my first Test two years back. After that, I took part in another Test and three more ODIs. I hope this experience will help me a lot in future to play better in a bigger stage of the game. I believe I am prepared more than before to represent my country in international cricket.” the batsman added.
Shanto played 35 First-class and 92 List-A matches in the domestic circuit and accumulated 2293 and 2885 runs with 12 centuries and 22 fifties in these two formats. He displayed more consistency than many talented batsmen of his time.