Asked the meaning of his name, Taskin Ahmed said it means respect in Arabic. The 19-year-old earned it in spades on his ODI debut for Bangladesh Tuesday. Even the Indians were clearly rattled by the young fast bowler’s pace and bounce. After the match, India’s stand-in India captain, Suresh Raina, sought him out to offer congratulations.
Taskin finished with five wickets, four of them LBWs, for 28 runs in his eight overs, with Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ambati Rayudu and Amit Mishra undone by sharp in-cutters. He bowled with pace, extracted bounce and caught the batsmen in the crease when he pitched it up. Stuart Binny’s prodigious seam and swing crushed Bangladesh in the end, but Taskin walked with his reputation enhanced in the 47-run defeat.
“The five-for was unexpected. I just wanted to bowl fast and straight. I love to bowl fast and threaten batsmen with pace,” Taskin told The Indian Express over the phone from Dhaka. “The wicket offered help, but it was important to bowl in the right areas. I tried to do that.” He maintains a victory would have been better.
“It was indeed special to get five wickets but I would have been happier to see my team win,” he said
Taskin’s journey relates to his name. The youngster had to gain his father, Abdul Rashid’s nod for him to pursue his passion. Rashid had against his son pursuing a career in cricket at the expense of academics.
“My father had beaten me with a cricket bat because I went to play a match ahead of my exams. Surprisingly, though, he allowed me to join the Discovery Cricket Academy when I was 12,” he recalls.
“Shahjahan Sadhu, my coach at the academy, shaped my career and exhorted my father to support me. He reluctantly agreed.” Yesterday he was happy. At last, I’ve managed to made him smile through my cricket.”
Taskin’s rise has been quite phenomenal. After getting into the Bangladesh U-15 and U-17 squads, he represented Bangladesh at the U-19 World Cup in Australia in 2012.
“That was the turning point. I got 11 wickets from six matches and was chosen among the senior team probables on my return.” A knee injury laid him low and wrecked him for almost an entire season. Following the rehabilitation, he is still working on raising his strength levels.
“I suffered knee tendonitis in 2013 and missed almost the entire season. Bangladesh Cricket Board sent me to Melbourne for treatment. I returned home and did my rehab under our national academy’s strength and fitness conditioning coach Stuart Karppinen,” he says.
Former Bangladesh captain and national selector, Habibul Bashar, however, blamed the workload for Taskin’s injury.
“He was overworked in domestic first-class cricket. Taskin is a frail guy, though his height is an advantage. He is our future — a silver lining in the cloud. So, it’s imperative to look after his body and manage his workload properly,” Bashar observes.