Bowled with a lot of flight yesterday, tighter today – Nayeem Hasan

Nayeem Hasan finished his career-best figures of 6-25

Bangladesh’s off-spinner Nayeem Hasan took his chance with both hands after ending with a career-best 6-25 against Sri Lanka in the first Test after February 2021.

The young Bangladesh spinner Nayeem Hasan should consider himself lucky that he got a chance in playing XI against Sri Lanka following the unexpected injury of Mehedy Hasan that ruled him out of the ongoing Test against Lankans.

Bangladesh’s off-spinner Nayeem Hasan took his chance with both hands after ending with a career-best 6-25 against Sri Lanka in the first Test after February 2021.

Nayeem, who already had three five-wicket made his presence felt to the audience after becoming the youngest cricketer to claim a fifer against West Indies in his first International game in 2018. 

Considering that performance, he became an integral part of the Test side before Covid-19 following the same year. In his four years career, Nayeem has been part of seven Test matches before disappearing for 15 months followed by a disappointment against West Indies in February 2021 where he was playing with pain, not have been cured properly of his finger injury.

“It was a very difficult time (after the surgery). It is always tough when you are injured but I tried to adapt,”

Nayeem said after the second day’s play on Monday (May 16). 

His place in the playing XI was still not confirmed even though he was the best off-spin option for Bangladesh with the team management preferring Mehedy Hasan as he is a batter as well, which left Nayeem on the sidelines on different occasions despite being in the Test squad.

“There were times when I was with the team but Miraj (Mehidy) Bhai was really playing well and so I did not get a chance,”

he said. 

“When I was injured all I was doing was keeping myself prepared so that when my time comes I can perform. All I was thinking (after getting a chance in the playing XI) was that when my time comes I will try to give my hundred percent irrespective of the result and that was my only focus,”

he said.

 Nayeem did not lose hope and kept working on his bowling skills while the biggest inspiration came in the form of bowling coach Rangana Herath when he was overlooked for Mehidy.

The Sri Lankan also shared his struggle story during his initial years due to the presence of the Legendary Sri Lankan leg-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

“Herath always told me about my line and length and I did a camp in the Bangladesh Tigers and there I worked with Sohel sir on how to develop that (line and length). I don’t bowl the doosra and all I try to do is a bowl with different seam and the arm ball.”

Nayeem needed some push to get going and it came when he dismissed the Sri Lankan spinner Dimuth Karunaratne. He got another wicket after that but paid the price later when he tried different things in the last spell to get further success.

But it was a different story when he came to bowl on day 2 as he came with a specific purpose and clarity and bowled to his strengths.

“I probably bowled with a lot of flight yesterday and tried too many things, but today I bowled a bit tighter. Shakib Bhai was telling me not to panic if one run is scored and it is fine as far as boundaries are not scored, so I just decided to focus on restricting runs more than anything else,”

he said, adding that he will rate this performance at the top of his list.

“Certainly I would keep this as my top performance (ahead of the other two five-wicket hauls) till date considering I picked it on a good wicket (and against an opposition capable of handling spin well),”

he added.