Interview: Taijul Islam

'I don’t focus on records; it'll come sooner or later'

Taijul Islam's name has become synonymous with Test cricket. He has been indispensable for the white ball cricket of Bangladesh. After Shakib Al Hasan, Taijul Islam as the second Bangladesh bowler is just eight wickets away from a 200-wicket milestone, and he may soon overtake the 233 wickets of Shakib Al Hasan, who is irregular in the Test. With 15 wickets in his pocket, Taijul Islam was adjudged the player of the series in the recent two-match series against New Zealand. He spoke to Prothom Alo over the mobile phone about his recent achievement and upcoming milestone.

Prothom Alo:

You have become the player of series. What does this achievement mean to you?

Taijul Islam: Overall, I would say the first match was obviously good. We won in that wicket. The wicket in Sylhet was useful for all. Batters got runs. Bowlers bowled good and got success. The Sylhet Test was a huge achievement for us. It feels good to become the player of the series in this series among many big players, but it would have better had we won the series.

Prothom Alo:

Since you spoke of big players, is the removing of Kane Williamson for three times in four innings something special?

Taijul Islam: Personally, I do not think much about who bats. Rather I try to understand the batsman’s plans, what he wants and what does not want to do; and this is very important. The batsman must face what he does not want to face, and that's what I try for.

Prothom Alo:

Your celebration seemed you were overjoyed removing Kane Williamson …

Taijul Islam: Of course, when you remove a batsman of that standard, a confidence will come. It feels different taking that kind of wicket, and that's only normal.

Left arm spinner Taijul Islam lets a roar out after picking up a New Zealand wicket
Shamsul Hoque Tanku
Prothom Alo:

You are eight wickets away from a 200-mark in Test. How do you feel?

Taijul Islam: It feels good. In fact, when you single-handedly bring a victory to a team then you will be successful. How much I contributed to the team’s victory is very important. This is my thoughts. I do not focus on records. It is not in my thoughts. Records will be there sooner or later. Test cricket is a matter of different feelings. Our next generation has a lot to learn from here. Emerging players have many options, and if they want, they can plan their career in many ways. If someone wants to set a goal and play Test cricket, their achievement will be good.

Prothom Alo:

Do you have any goal? 300 or 400 wickets?

Taijul Islam: I did not think about any such specific milestone. I never thought that I have to take 300 or 400 wickets. I will try to go as far as I can. I do not want to stick at 300 or 350 wickets. I will try to go as far as possible. I have no boundary. I will continue to pray to Allah. Let’s see where Allah takes me.

Prothom Alo:

There has been a lot of discussions on Mirpur Test. What would you say being a spinner?

Taijul Islam: Both teams had 50/50 chance in Mirpur. It is difficult to understand what will happen here. You will not understand beforehand in which direction the match will go. We took 5 wickets in 50 runs in two innings, yet we could not restrain then. But I would say it is always important to bowl in good areas. We would have won the match had we performed a little better.

Prothom Alo:

We do not play home cricket on such a wicket. Wickets in national league and Bangladesh Cricket League have grass. So where will the players practice for a spin-paradise Test?

Taijul Islam: It is better to have grass on the wicket because it helps our pacers during away Test matches. It will be a good test for their line, length and long-time bowling. And we, the spinners will improve their bowling skills outside the country. I will see it positively.

Prothom Alo:

How will batsmen be prepared then?

Taijul Islam: When you will take home advantage, you will face such circumstances sometimes. Yet we must improve, and this is important. Take New Zealand for example, they never played in this wicket, but they played this time and won. We also must adept. Many of us have this capacity, and if the rest can do so, it will be better.

Prothom Alo:

The Bangladesh Test team can be called a new team. How can this team perform in the upcoming days?

Taijul Islam: The beginning had been good. There are several young players, and they are very energetic. They have good ideas on the game. If those youth can understand the game, they can change the team quickly, and with them, we can do something good.

This report appeared in the print and online editions of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten in English by Hasanul Banna