Liton keen to maintain fireworks

Bangladesh wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das, who smashed his maiden ODI ton in the Asia Cup final against India on Friday, understands the importance of delivering at the big stage.

Bangladesh batsman Liton Das celebrates his maiden ODI ton against India in Dubai on Friday.   -  AFP

 

There is a belief in Bangladesh cricketing circles that Liton Das is a powerhouse of talent but is prone to gifting wickets despite good starts. But that belief could well change after Liton’s gritty knock of 121 in the Asia Cup final on Friday.

The 23-year-old, who did not have a memorable outing in the Asia Cup until the final, has been quite irregular in Bangladesh’s scheme of things, but at the Dubai International Stadium on Friday, it was Liton’s steady knock that helped Bangladesh put up a fight against a superior India.

And Liton hopes the century changes the perception about him. “I was not among runs for a while. My ODI career wasn’t quite going the way I would have wanted. I could not even find rhythm in the Asia Cup initially. Even though I scored a 41 against Afghanistan, I could not convert it into a big score. On personal front, I am happy that I could strike form,” Liton told Sportstar from Dubai airport on Saturday.

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Bangladesh has quite a busy schedule till next year’s World Cup and Liton admits that this innings will certainly motivate him to perform even better in the coming days and will of course help him ‘cement’ his place in the side.

“If we are performing at a big stage and in a big-ticket match, then definitely it is a boost for a player. Scoring against a big team at a big stage is a huge deal,” Liton said.

While he is happy with his personal feat, Bangladesh’s close defeat has left Liton dejected. “Last night, the entire side was at loss of words. This was yet another final which we lost closely. It has happened in the past as well, so it was extremely disappointing for all of us,” he said. “It would have been great if we could leave on a winning note.”

His captain, Mashrafe Mortaza, has also advised Liton to peak from here. “All the seniors (including Mashrafe) has told me to focus on my game. All this while, I was not being able to get runs, but now that it has come, I need to keep the momentum going. That’s what the seniors have advised me,” the youngster said.

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A big fan of former South Africa stumper Mark Boucher and former Australia captain, Michael Clarke, Liton now wants to let the willow do the talking. “We have some big tournaments lined up and hopefully, this will help,” he said, hoping to keep the momentum going.

The Asia Cup final might have been a forgettable outing for Bangladesh cricket fans, but for young Liton, it has once again lit up his chances.