Nurul Hasan Sohan's form this season in the Bangabandhu Premier Division League saw him earn a well-deserved call-up for the national team in all three formats for their upcoming tour of Zimbabwe, but given the lack of faith from the selectors in the past, question remains whether Sohan's present form can make a difference this time.
His form with the bat, shaping into a natural rearguard mould, has been synonymous to Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi's ability to seize match control late and reach big scores while facing sub-par scores. It was done with consistency too, and would be an asset for the national side looking for someone at number seven to demolish the bowlers in the death overs and in that regard the mentality matters.
His mentality has that keen brand of aggression that can often be promiscuous but it was the consistency of that brand in the ongoing DPL that has seen him back in focus. According to Sohan, it comes from a seminal tendency to take up challenges.
Having been overlooked in the past, does it put more pressure on him to perform? "Pressure is always there, but as a professional player you have to welcome it. I feel that I always like to take up challenges. It's not like if you take up challenges, it will end in success. It can also end in failure but I feel that I am never afraid to take a challenge and instead quite keen for a challenge. More than pressure, it's a big opportunity for me since in four-five years I am yet to become a national team regular, either due to team combination or other factors," he told The Daily Star.
Sohan brought in innovative strokeplay, for instance in the match against Mohammedan, hitting 66 off 34 facing Taskin Ahmed and Abu Jayed. He showed the ability to get on top of deliveries and also get under them when required to get the optimum connection this season -- a power-hitting force, with a strong forearm presence in shot-making. He had to hone that ability and work with local coach Mizanur Rahman Babul saw him get into better stances while playing his shots after the disappointments of the second Test in West Indies where he departed to first-ball duck in both innings. The intent was based on natural aggression too.
"After the last time I played in the national team, I worked with Babul sir especially on my batting. I worked on the weak points and am doing that even now and hopefully it will help me since I was very comfortable working with him," Sohan said.
Already known for his wicket-keeping skills, Sohan's task of becoming a national team regular is more difficult than anyone else's due to the presence of more established batsmen like Liton Das and Mushfiqur Rahim behind the wicket with Mohammad Mithun also able to fill the role behind the stumps.
"I want to contribute to team's winning cause according to the situation of the match. 10-15 runs can sometimes be crucial so instead of scores match scenarios are important to me. There is a lot to learn," he said.
His lower-order batting can help his case but given the selectors' impatience, it remains to be seen whether he would be given enough time now to gain vital experience in case he does not turn up with the bat and make an argument for the pipeline that BCB claims to have.