Imrul Kayes following his heroics against Zimbabwe informed that Mushfiqur Rahim is his biggest inspiration
Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim is the biggest inspiration to opener Imrul Kayes.
Imrul emerged as the hero for host Bangladesh in the first ODI against Zimbabwe at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Sunday.
The left-handed batsman struck career-best 144, his third century in the format, to pull Bangladesh out of the doldrums and help the side put on a competitive 271 runs on the board.
Later, a tight Bangladesh bowling attack restricted Zimbabwe to 243 and secured a 28-run victory to start their first home series in eight months in a winning note.
Mushfiq is undoubtedly the hardest worker in the Bangladesh dressing room.
Not only do the coaches praise the right-handed batsman for the amount of work he puts in the training sessions, but he is also admired by his team mates.
@BCBtigers opener Imrul Kayes’ match-winning 144 runs against @ZimCricketv in the first ODI is being seen as a point of revival in his 10-year long international career.https://t.co/Pw8aoc7oxT#IMRUL #KAYES #IMRULKAYES #BANGLADESHCRICKET #BANGLADESH #CRICKET #BCBTIGERS #TIGERS— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) October 21, 2018
Imrul came under the limelight for his heroics more so because of the manner of his return.
The top-order batsman has by far the highest number of returns in the national team, but lack of consistency often saw him give away his place.
With the match-winning hundred, which was his first in almost two years, Imrul is being expected to make a turnaround in his career and secure a place in the team currently preparing for the 2019 World Cup.
Imrul following his heroics against Zimbabwe informed that Mushfiq is his biggest inspiration.
“I believe in one thing, one will always get return if he works hard. I learn a lot from Mushfiq. The way he works in the nets. What he is today is a result of pure hard work and dedication,” said Imrul to the media in Mirpur Sunday.
“I always try to follow his methods and strongly believe that you get result of hard work,” the 31-year old added.
Opening batsman Imrul Kayes made his highest ODI score not only to salvage @BCBtigers' innings but also proved his worth as a senior top-order batsman months before the @cricketworldcup.https://t.co/uwpIillyjj#IMRULKAYES #IMRUL #KAYES #BANGLADESH #BCBTIGERS #CRICKET #ZIMBABWE— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) October 21, 2018
Imrul made a return to the national fold last month through the Asia Cup in the UAE.
The left-handed batsman was only made part of the contingent halfway through to the tournament as the regular openers were failing and Tamim Iqbal was out due to injury.
Imrul in his return to the side after almost a year, struck a match-winning unbeaten 72 against Afghanistan in the Super Four round of the tournament, but batting in the middle-order for the first time in his career – part of the team management’s strategy.
Despite the hundred scored against Zimbabwe, Imrul rates his performance against Afghanistan higher.
“I will keep this (Zimbabwe innings) as one of the good ones in my career. But the innings against Afghanistan was important and needy. Ultimately the team is benefitted if you play well. The team got saved (Sunday) and I am happy for that,” Imrul explained.
When queried as to what keeps him going when he is not part of the national team, Imrul said, “Many cricketers had started playing in the national team when I made my debut. But many of them are not even in the picture now. I think determination is important. I believe my career is not going to finish so early. I always keep myself ready to play for the national team, doesn’t matter for how long I play the game. I will say myself thank you the day I will feel that there is no more chance left for me in the national team.”