You have played four Tests for Bangladesh so far. What are the things you have learnt during this small period?

Many things. What I’ve realised is that I still have a lot to learn if I want to survive in international cricket. I have to improve a lot. I scored runs in domestic cricket quite easily. Test cricket is not like that. Here, the number of bad deliveries is very low. You have to wait a long time for bad deliveries. This has been the biggest lesson.

Mahmudul Hasan Joy believes he still has a lot to learn to survive in international cricket.
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You have tasted big successes in your brief career and have also seen failures. You made 78 in Mount Manganui, 137 in Durban and then got a pair (getting out for 0 in both innings of a Test) in the Port Elizabeth Test.

Yes, That’s what I was talking about actually. You have to maintain your attention at all times. There is a risk of getting out if you lose your focus even a bit. There is a very little scope for mistakes.

Let’s go back a bit. You made your Test debut in last year’s December, what was that experience like?

Obviously, I was very excited. Everyone dreams of playing for the national team. When I got that chance against Pakistan, I was very excited.

Before your debut, you had played just one season of first-class (domestic four-day matches) cricket. Getting called up to the Bangladesh team and then making your debut, it all happened very quickly for you.

I was confident that I will get called up. Because wherever I played before, I did well. I was optimistic about getting a call up.

Your Test career got off to a bad start. In the first innings you got a duck and in the next one you made six runs.

I didn’t think too much about it. Because bad times are bound to come. That’s just how it is. The more normally you approach it, the better. Staying true to your plan is the key.

Teammates and even opposition players applauded Mahmudul Hasan Joy's patient century.
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I want to know more about your plan. You played 228 balls in that 78-run knock in New Zealand, for the century in Durban you faced 326 balls. Usually Bangladeshi batsmen don’t stay at the crease for so long.

ying at the wicket, spending time at the middle– that’s my main goal. There is always some movement with the new ball. After it gets old, I can play the way I want to. That’s all I think about really, nothing else. The team wants me to bat for a long time. It’s a five-day game, there’s a lot of time. If I play a shot and get out because of it, that’s not ideal for me or my team. That’s why I try to bat for a long time.

Does batting for a long time come naturally to you or have you prepared yourself like this?

I can’t really explain it. Maybe it is a result of repetition.

You play at a good strike rate in white-ball cricket. How did you bring this balance into your game?

It’s all about mentality. You have to mentally prepare yourself to play accordingly in the three different formats. You have to train keeping the different formats in mind.

After you completed your century, everyone got to see how many shots you have in your arsenal…

I was batting under pressure. There weren’t many wickets left. I tried to score as many runs as possible in quick time. The match situation demanded that I play shots.

Mahmudul Hasan Joy looks at the heavens after reaching his century in Durban.
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How did it feel after scoring your first century in Tests?

It felt really great, scoring the first century of my career, that too in abroad. I really enjoyed that moment.

Usually you don’t celebrate after scoring a century. But that day after completing your century you jumped up and punched the air.

They were sledging a lot. That’s why I celebrated a little (smiles).

* This interview appeared in the print and online version of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by Ashfaq-Ul-Alam Niloy.