Abul Hasan's demeanour could not be more at odds with the innings the debutant played. He cut a coy figure at the post-day conference after playing an innings full of bravado and defiance. It was not easy to gauge his exact reaction as the way the young man responded to every question with a shy-smile. He was outstanding in his debut hundred which was laced equally with aggression and calmness, but he was not like that when he made his first official press conference debut at the Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium in Khulna yesterday. It might be the most romantic hundred made by a Bangladesh batsman but it seemed that the 20-year-old cricketer from Moulvibazar either did not realise what he achieved on his debut Test or could not explain his emotions. His face however gave the impression that he was a little confused over what happened in the last session of the first day of the second and final Test against West Indies.
“I actually don't know. Still I'm not aware of any record,” was the simple answer from the brave man -- he was talking with his index finger immersed in ice after being hit by Fidel Edwards in the last over of the day -- when asked whether he was aware of the records he made on way to an unbeaten hundred as the number ten batsman.
But undoubtedly it came as a huge relief for the specialist paceman as only a few months ago he was cast in the role of villain after dropping a catch offered by Pakistan opener Imran Nazir at a crucial moment in a do-or-die World Twenty20 encounter at the Pallekele International Stadium in Sri Lanka.
“I felt really bad because I felt that Bangladesh lost that crucial game because of me, and it haunted me, but my teammates always told me that it's a part of the game,” said Hasan, who came to the playing eleven in place of Shahadat Hossain.
During the left-hander's masterful knock, many saw the shadow of Tamim Iqbal in his batting, especially the way the debutant used his feet to charge the West Indies bowlers during his unbeaten 108-ball 100 that contained 13 fours and three sixes.
“Tamim bhai bought the bat for me from England,” disclosed Hasan when he was asked about his style of batting which almost matched the Bangladesh opener's.
It was best knock Hasan, popularly known as Raju, has played at any level but the right-arm paceman who bats left-handed informed that he was mainly a batsman when he played at the Under-15 level.
“I was a batsman when I played for the Under-15 team, so I thought I will play like a batsman when I came to bat at number ten. Nannu bhai (Minhazul Abedin) actually advised me to make my career as a bowler. I had the belief in my batting because I always made runs at different stages.”
“I never thought about a hundred, even in a dream, which is why there was no plan when I came to bat and I just hit the bad balls. But still my main target is to bowl well,” said Hasan, who dedicated his maiden hundred to his late father.
Hasan admitted that he was nervous at 98. “Yes, I was under huge pressure because the hundred was in my mind. I first thought about the hundred when I crossed the 70-mark,” said Hasan, who was not thinking of another record – crossing 118 to become the highest scorer as a number ten batsman. Instead, he was looking forward to give as much support as possible to senior partner Mahmudullah Riyad so that they can reach a strong position in the match.
Hasan also said that the wicket was fantastic for batting, even though Bangladesh's specialist batsmen could not take advantage of it.