In Bangladesh’s do-or-die ICC World Cup game against India at Edgbaston, Saifuddin, the all rounder, gave a glimpse of his immense potential. Despite wickets falling at the other end, the southpaw cracked a string of shots, but his gutsy 38-ball unbeaten 51 went in vain. Bangladesh’s gut-wrenching 28-run loss also meant that it ended their chances of qualifying for the semifinals.
At 179 for 6, India seemed to be in cruise control. However, Saifuddin showcased his pyrotechnics by thwacking Mohammed Shami for a couple of boundaries in the 38th over.
When Shami returned to bowl the 42nd over, the promising all rounder again took on the pacer to collect two more fours. He also had Sabbir Rahman for company, but it was Saifuddin who took on India’s experienced attack to put the formidable opponent under some pressure.
”I always looked forward to this type of opportunity in which I can finish the game off for my team,” he said. “I was connecting well today. I was confident that I will be able to pull this off but unfortunately it didn’t happen.
“Maybe I haven’t guided my team to victory in any match at the international level, but I did it against South Africa in Chittagong at the Under-19 level. So, I was recalling that day again and again, and I hoped I would do that once again today. I was telling myself that I will do my best,” he added.
Over the last few months, the young all-rounder has been battling with a back problem, which in turn forced Bangladesh’s medical staff to give him the painkiller during the course of the ongoing World Cup.
He was also in the midst of a controversy surrounding his back injury. There were speculations that he sat out of the game against Australia due to ‘fear’ of playing a big team and the senior players were unhappy.
Saifuddin, on his part, cleared the air and said that he was determined to prove a point versus the formidable Indian side. ”It hurts. Few days ago, there was a rumour about me that I don’t want to play against the big teams because of fear and for this I give excuses. This controversy heated me up. I wanted to win the match on my own against a big team and wanted to be the hero.
“This thought was in my mind from the first ball to last ball that I faced against India. I wanted to win the match and prove the rumour was wrong. [The loss felt] like a sky falling down over my head. It’s natural to feel bad in this type of situation because we are out of the World Cup,” he observed.