Bangladesh opening batsman Soumya Sarkar is currently enjoying a purple patch with the bat. The left-handed batsman, sharing Bangladesh's opening responsibility with the experienced Tamim Iqbal, has scored 153 runs in three innings in the tri-nation series at an average of 76.5. His best score in the series came against Ireland on Friday when he struck an unbeaten 87 to guide Bangladesh to an eight-wicket win.
Soumya’s willow producing runs must be a delight for the Bangladesh think-tank who around five months back was concerned with his below-par performances. A dreadful run of form in 2016 saw him score only 32 runs in four matches while in T20Is, he has made 255 runs in 16 games. As a result, the 24-year-old was rested for the home series against England in October last year.
The Satkhira lad was called back to the national side for the home series against Afghanistan but scored only 31 runs in three matches. Soumya's wait for scoring runs grew so long that head coach Chandika Hathurusingha had said Soumya was eating into his time. Hathurusingha commented this while the Tigers were touring New Zealand and Soumya was still struggling.
“Anyone who is not scoring runs has a limited life span. He is eating into his time and it is a matter of time that if he does not score, we will have to look for someone,” Hathurusingha told the media in Nelson.
Although he was unable to convert the knocks into big ones in the tri-series, Soumya will nevertheless be in a confident mood heading into the eight-team 2017 Champions Trophy, starting in England on June 1.
That Soumya stayed till the end of the chase as Bangladesh cruised to victory against Ireland was really encouraging. The southpaw was long overdue a big innings and the fact that he stayed in the middle for around 28 overs will certainly stand him in good stead for the eighth edition of the Champions Trophy.
Soumya made a flying start to his international career during the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Soumya was chosen in the side as a seamer-allrounder batting at No 3 but he soon joined Tamim at the top as Anamul Haque picked up a shoulder injury during Bangladesh’s fourth group match, against Scotland. His courage with the willow, especially at a time when Tamim was short of runs, attracted the attention of fans and selectors alike.
He continued to impress against tough opponents like Pakistan, India and South Africa at home in 2015 and with 26 matches under his belt already, it will certainly not be too much if he asks for a longer run in the side.