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Taijul Islam became the first cricketer in ODIs to take a hattrick on debut ©AFP (File photo)

Taijul Islam earned world recognition on Monday by securing a hat-trick against Zimbabwe on One-Day International (ODI) debut. Ayush Gupta takes a look into the youngster’s outstanding skills and abilities.

Born in Natore, Rajshahi, Taijul made his First-Class debut in the Rajshahi Division in 2010-11 in the National Cricket League. Prior to his First-class debut, he played for the Bangladesh Under-19s and also toured Sri Lanka.

He played three Under-19 ODIs with the team and an Under-19 Test. Following his First-Class debut he claimed 14 wickets from just three matches in the season. He impressed the former Bangladesh captain, Khaled Mashud who guaranteed his place in the Rajshahi squad for the next few seasons.

Following his impressive performance in the following seasons he was picked up by Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) franchise, Duronto Rajshahi for the inaugural edition in 2012 where he played just three matches. However, the following season of the BPL he managed to play nine matches and finished with nine wickets.

The same season, he also played his first List-A match for Bangladesh Under-23 in the Asian Cricket Championship (ACC) Emerging Teams Cup in Singapore. He also played the Dhaka Premier Division List A tournament where he became the second highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets from just 15 games.

However, his breakthrough came in 2013-14, when he got 37 wickets from just four matches across all leagues. He was named the Man of the Tournament. In all he claimed 53 wickets at an average of 20.62, making seven five-wicket hauls in 19 innings.

This very remarkable performance of his got him selected for Bangladesh A in May 2014 when they toured West Indies. However, it was in September that he earned his maiden national call in the Test squad against the West Indies. He claimed five wickets in the first match, thus becoming the sixth Bangladesh bowler to grab a five-wicket haul on Test debut.

However, his best performance came against Zimbabwe last month when he claimed nine for 81. His eight for 39 was also the first eight-wicket haul by a Bangladeshi. His numbers read 25 wickets at 27.12.

Following this notable performance, he got his maiden call for the ODI series against Zimbabwe and played the final match of the five-match series. He outplayed the Zimbabwe batsmen and claimed four for 11 including a hat-trick and helped Bangladesh earn a 5-0 whitewash. He also became the first ever player to get a hat-trick on his ODI debut.

His numbers prove that he is, beyond doubt, a fine talent unearthed by Bangladesh, who have seldom produced world-class cricketers (barring Shakib Al Hasan).

Taijul has the potential to get there, provided he is consistent with his performance. A word of caution, though, would be not to make any assumption or judgement, as the same based on performance in just one game would be highly premature.

 (Ayush Gupta is a reporter at CricketCountry. A passionate supporter of Manchester United, he idolises Roger Federer)