Najmul Hossain Shanto’s cricketing journey over the past year has been nothing short of remarkable. From facing struggles and criticism in 2022, he has experienced a complete turnaround in his fortunes in 2023. Shanto’s resurgence in form has earned him the captaincy for Bangladesh in the third ODI against New Zealand, a testament to his remarkable transformation.
In September 2022, Shanto was not picked for the first T20I against the UAE, and his World Cup participation was uncertain. However, fast forward exactly 12 months, and Shanto has become a key player for Bangladesh in all formats. He performed well in the T20 World Cup in Australia and had a strong showing in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) in 2023. He has also cemented his place in the Test and ODI teams.
Shanto expressed his pride at being named the captain for the third ODI and stated that he is enjoying every moment of his cricketing journey. He views this opportunity as a significant milestone and a dream come true for any cricketer.
Despite Bangladesh’s recent loss to New Zealand, Shanto remains optimistic, emphasizing the importance of focusing on the upcoming World Cup. He believes that the team is in a good position and aims to finish the series on a positive note.
One of Bangladesh’s challenges has been inconsistency with the bat in recent ODIs. Shanto stressed the importance of building partnerships and ensuring that set batsmen capitalize on their starts to play substantial innings.
Bangladesh is set to leave for India on September 27 for the ODI World Cup, and their tight schedule necessitates building confidence and momentum in the series against New Zealand. Shanto emphasized the need to adapt to different conditions in India and finish the New Zealand series strongly to prepare effectively for the World Cup.