'Rangana Herath told me to focus on line and length' - Nayeem Hasan

Bangladesh spinner Nayeem Hasan reflected on the tough times he faced during his injury layoff after recording his best bowling figures in Test cricket in the ongoing game between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Nayeem marked his return with an impressive performance as the youngster picked up six wickets to restrict Sri Lanka to just below 400 on a solid batting track. He achieved career-best figures in Sri Lanka’s first innings, which read 30-4-105-6.

On Day 1, the off-spinner went for a few runs as Angelo Mathews hit him for a few boundaries. But on the second day, he returned a much better bowler - more accurate and disciplined as he got four wickets on the second day.

“I was not in the squad in the last two series. I was injured, then I played in the BCL (Bangladesh Cricket League) and BPL (Bangladesh Premier League). Then I was included in the Bangladesh Tigers camp. Sohel (Islam) sir helped me there. I have worked with him on what type of improvement I need. Also worked on various match situations. Then I tried to improve those areas. Then when I was selected for Bangladesh, our national team spin bowling coach Rangana Herath told me to focus on line and length. How I can improve in those areas…that also helped,” Nayeem Hasan said at the press conference.

“It is really a hard time for a player when one gets injured. But I tried to motivate myself and adjust myself with the situation. After my treatment, I just practised well and was trying to prepare myself well. So that whenever a call-up comes, I can be in good shape.

“When I heard (Mehedi Hasan) Miraz Bhai got injured, then I felt bad. Because he has been playing really well recently. My plan was just to give my 100% effort for the team. Whatever the result may be, I just have to ensure that I have given my 100% effort, that’s it.”

Nayeem made his debut against the West Indies in Chittagong back in 2018. He last played against the Windies in Mirpur in 2021 before being dropped. With frontline spinner Mehedi not there, Nayeem made full use of the opportunity, which will consolidate his place in the regular playing eleven.