Soumya Sarkar has emerged as Bangladesh's most impressive cricketer since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 © AFP
Soumya Sarkar has emerged as Bangladesh’s most impressive cricketer since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 © AFP

It was a shocking decision for Bangladesh to drop their in-form batsman Soumya Sarkar from the first Test against South Africa. According to the team management, the southpaw at this point, does not fit in the eleven for the longest format of cricket. Sandipan Banerjee censures this decision and explains why Bangladesh cannot afford to drop a talent like Soumya, especially when he is in red-hot form.

The rise of Bangladesh cricket has pleased fans of the sport around the world. It is good to see a new cricketing powerhouse is developing. But there is  criticism as well. For cricket pundits like Geoffrey Boycott, this success story of Bangladesh cricket is a flash in the pan,and to prove their worth, they need to do well in Test cricket. READ: Mohammad Shahid puts in the yards, Bangladesh reap the benefits

In this context, the home series (two Tests) against South Africa will be an acid test for the Bangladeshis and in the the first game at Chittagong, they have had a good start as well. But going into this game, the hosts made a blunder by dropping Soumya from the playing eleven. READ: Mustafizur Rahman’s triple strike dents South Africa

Soumya, the talented left-hand batsman from Satkhira, has emerged as Bangladesh’s most impressive cricketer since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. In coloured clothing, he had good home series against Pakistan and India. Against South Africa, he was undoubtedly Bangladesh’s best batsman. But it seems for the Bangladesh think-tank, One-Day International (ODI) form, hardly counts. But this is not the exact reason. Mushfiqur Rahim, the Test captain of Bangladesh, also the best wicketkeeper-batsman in his country, these days arise reluctant to keep wickets. Against India he did not keep and Litton Das was drafted in. That time Rahim had injured his finger and the change made sense. But, Rahim’s decision of playing only a as batsman in the first Test against South Africa is highly questionable. READ: Five game changing moments for Bangladesh which left South Africa clueless

After standing behind the wicket in the entire One-Day International (ODI) series, Rahim should have continued his role as wicketkeeper-batsman in the Test series as well. Especially, when he knew, he had to accommodate Mahmudullah, who is coming back from injury. But his reluctance towards taking extra responsibility has cost the place of a talented and in-form batsman like Soumya, who is also recognised by many experts as one for the future. READ: Tamim Iqbal steps up to help Bangladesh complete treble

Bangladesh will have to understand that this is the time for producing positive results in every format. They can not take a laid back approach towards Test cricket. If seniors like Rahim refuse to take extra responsibilities, it will not pass the right message. So what if Soumya is new to Test cricket, his confidence will grow only when he will get to play. Warming the benches will neither benefit him nor Bangladesh cricket. READ: Is Bangladesh Cricket’s rise due to Mashrafe Mortaza?

Its time for some rethinking, Mushfiqur Rahim.

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting, and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)