For Towhid Hridoy, the Asia Cup 2023 was going to be a homecoming of sorts. In the Lanka Premier League 2023, the young Bangladeshi batter secured his maiden appearance in an overseas franchise-based T20 tournament when Jaffna Kings drafted him as a replacement for Shoaib Malik and he lived up to the expectations by ending up as their highest run-scorer in the competition.
The signs that he would be a good addition to the national set-up were already there when Hridoy conjured up 403 runs in this season's Bangladesh Premier League. One thing led to another as he amassed 93 on his ODI debut against England before returning with 155 runs at an average of 38.75 in just six matches in LPL.
That has ensured that despite the presence of Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, and the impending return of Tamim Iqbal in the squad, Hridoy, whose range against spin is incredible, is counted as the most important cog in the batting wheel. His 82 against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Saturday bore testimony to his growth as a cricketer.
But for Bangladesh, the story is not so linear. The batting hasn’t come together, and after losing to Pakistan and Sri Lanka, they are now eliminated from the tournament. But Hridoy wants to focus on the positives and rectify the errors that the team committed ahead of the mega ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 in India.
"We are not thinking about what we have passed and gone through and looking forward to the upcoming assignment. As we have a game against India we will try to finish the tournament on a good note," Hridoy told reporters before the nets session in Colombo on Wednesday (September 13). "We need to rectify the mistakes that we have made and return home with a good result by overcoming our mistakes.”
Hridoy has been extremely accommodating when it comes to his batting position, batting at three different positions in the middle order already. On being asked about that, the 22-year-old said he is ready to bat at any position, depending on the game situation.
"I don't think whether it is difficult or not. There was a plan to bat at one down and I was ready for that. I am still saying that I am ready to bat anywhere. According to the demand of the team, if they want me to play at one down, middle order or in the slog overs I am ready to bat anywhere," he said.
In a major blow to their plans, Bangladesh will not have the services of Mushfiqur Rahim in the Super Four match against India after being "granted an extension of leave" to be with his wife, who is recovering from postpartum complications. While it would be tough to fill in the void left by Mushfiqur, Hridoy said Bangladesh wouldn’t give up.
"No Mushfiq bhai, of course, it will be a challenge for us because he is an experienced player. We, the rest of us, or who will play in his place, will try to recover it as much as possible," Hridoy said.