x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Ashraful can rejuvinate himself and Bangladesh

Mohammad Ashraful wants to return to the Bangladesh fold for the Test series against England ? but this time without the pressure of top billing.

Mohammad Ashraful wants to return to the Bangladesh fold for the Test series against England ? but this time without the pressure of top billing. Ashraful has long been considered the Tigers' most mercurial batting talent but has flourished only intermittently since scoring a century on his Test debut at the age of 17. Now 26 and already a former Bangladesh captain, Ashraful believes there are enough proven international players in the side for him to return with less of a burden. He opted out of the recent one-day international series against England after a run of indifferent form but is captaining Bangladesh A in a three-day match against the tourists starting tomorrow.

And from that platform he hopes to continue on into the Test side. "In the past there has been a lot of pressure (on me) but now we have a lot of match-winners in the side," he said. "Now I am just one of the players who has to perform; before it was big pressure. "When we beat the big teams in the past, I sometimes played brilliant cricket, but now we have four or five match-winners, everybody wants to perform, so I need to step up again." Indeed, far from being worn down by his experiences, Ashraful is eager to force his way into the first XI next week and begin a new chapter in his career.

"I have experience of Test cricket so, if I feel good and I bat well, they will select me," he said. "This is definitely a new start. I'm 26 so, if I'm fit enough, I can play another 10 years or more. "For the last nine years I have been up and down so now I need to perform regularly. My best time is still left I think." * PA Sport"I have experience of Test cricket so, if I feel good and I bat well, they will select me," he said.

"This is definitely a new start. I'm 26 so, if I'm fit enough, I can play another 10 years or more. "For the last nine years I have been up and down so now I need to perform regularly. My best time is still left I think." * PA Sport