Cricket news - Vettori's hand in Taijul's white-ball cricket transformation

Taijul has played 29 Tests but has featured in only nine ODIs and two T20Is.

Taijul has played 29 Tests but has featured in only nine ODIs and two T20Is.

Bangladesh left-arm spinner Taijul Islam stressed earning an all-format contract didn't come as a surprise to him. Taijul has played 29 Tests but has featured in only nine ODIs and two T20Is.

"I am not surprised after being picked in the national contract for both white and red ball category," he told Cricbuzz. "I never thought of myself as just a Test bowler and I don't think the selectors ever said anything like that. The media made that up and they made me a Test bowler."

Taijul praised Daniel Vettori for motivating him to focus on white-ball cricket and feels he can create an impact in any format as he starts his second innings. "When Sunil Joshi was here (as spin bowling coach), I worked with him on Test bowling as my thinking was only there. When Vettori arrived, he saw my bowling and said like I can play in all formats with this bowling, all I need to do is some fine-tuning," he pointed out. "I did some work with him, especially on pace variations. That helped a lot. Now my pace variation and some other things are getting better."

Taijul added that now he is working on delivering at different pace without altering his action and he is getting close to perfection with each passing days.

"There are lot of things to work on such as how the body position will be while making action look similar while making pace variation, body angle, where the hand will be, head position, ball grip, ball release position, all of these have been worked out or you can say I am still working on it.

"Earlier I used to bowl with the same pace most of the time and the position and the speed made it easy for the batsman to guess if he wants to hit the ball. Tests are different but in ODIs, it was not enough with that bowling. The batsmen picked me faster one and played accordingly but now it is different. The variations have increased, so the batsman will think a bit now when playing a shot. I have tried it in Tests as well. Starting with the last tour of India, to this Zimbabwe series, I have bowled at a speed of 78-79 to 92kph. Previously the speed difference was not so high. In these places I have tried to improve."

Despite being successful in the limited-overs format in domestic cricket, Taijul hasn't got a consistent run at the international level. The spinner, though, isn't losing sleep over it and is waiting for his opportunity to arrive. "It is something like my second innings in the shorter version and now I believe that I can do well in ODIs. When I first played ODIs, I did well. Then I played a match at the World Cup (2015). Didn't do very well in that match and obviously I was lacking," he said,

"Those who formed the team, surely they know and understand better than me [why they didn't pick me]. I don't know the reason. It was not my decision. Maybe they thought I can't do it or I'm not ready for ODIs. I had a hat-trick on the debut, but was not against a big team (against Zimbabwe). That might have been as less important. Maybe I couldn't do well against the big teams. They might have thought that they would pick me up when I will be more prepared. I have no complaints on that, but now that they are considering me, I am obviously happy.

"Look, I have never been frustrated with these things [whether I am picked or not] because I know, I will get what I have in my destiny. I have to work hard to get it [a permanent place in the shorter format] and my brain needs to be sharp for that. Just listening or showing something I have to catch up and do it."

Whether he can fulfil the expectations of the selectors, only time will tell. But, for the moment, Bangladesh need Taijul considering they are facing scarcity of suitable left-arm spinners in the limited-overs format.