Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | ePaper
Naim hopes to create impression like Afif
While Afif Hossain made an instant impact with a 27 ball-52 that led Bangladesh to a thrilling three-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in the first match of the ongoing Tri-nation T20 series from a precarious 60-6, his friend Naim Sheikh is keen to follow his friend's impressive comeback.
Afif however was not new to the wings as he played a T20 game in 2018 before being axed. But when he got another chance, he made it count.
Unlike Afif, Naim Sheikh is completely new to the squad as he was called up for Bangladesh's third and fourth T20 match in Tri-nation series along with other four players. But he is keen to make an impact if he is given the chance.
"Afif is my friend and we have been playing cricket together from our Under-19 life. We have good camaraderie and good combination. Even we share room when we are on tour. So it's exciting for me to play alongside him in the national team," Naim Sheikh told the BSS on Monday.
"If I am given chance to play in the first XI my main target will be to play my best, like Afif did in the first match. I don't want to look back as I want to cement my place by performing well."
With Bangladesh's top-order tasting a torrid period, Naim is believed to be the solution. Bangladesh lost their first four wickets for 29 runs against Zimbabwe and lost four wickets for 32 runs against Afghanistan in the first two matches, leaving the national selectors in doldrums regarding the testament of the vulnerability of the top order.
The team management therefore brought up fresh bloods to stop the rot and plug the loopholes. The time will say whether Naim Sheikh could be the solution but the young man himself is oozing with confidence.
"I haven't done well against Sri Lanka with HP team but I have played well against Afghanistan A team. In that series I have score of 126, 49 and 65. Afif also played well in that series. So I think I have been amongst runs," he said.
"I will try my best to solve the top order problem if I am given chance. I have actually nothing to do but to try to do well. The only target is to contribute for team's cause," he remarked.
"What is another inspiration is that I will be playing under Shakib Al Hasan. He is our national star. I am excited to play with him."