Afghanistan all-rounder Karim Janat is reaping the rewards of need-based training for long-form cricket with his focus on handling spin better and remaining patient with the ball providing dividends in the Ahmad Shah Abdali four-day tournament. His performances there paved way for a call-up to the squad for the upcoming one-off game against Bangladesh.
Janat, who plays for Band-e-Amir Region in the four-day tournament, already had a double hundred to his name, underscoring his credentials with the bat in the longer version cricket. However, this season, Janat has been in a different zone altogether in the first-class tournament, making 561 runs at an average of 140.25 including two hundreds and four fifties. He is also the joint third-highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 18 scalps to his name.
“I am feeling very good (to make a comeback in the Test squad). Basically what I feel is that Test cricket is the proper form of cricket because in this format your skills gets tested, like how a player can play and it is played for five days where as T20 or ODIs are shorter format game. In Test your skill set is examined thoroughly,” Karim told Cricbuzz.
“I was included in the Test squad against West Indies (in 2019) but did not get the chance to play the game and so I am seeing whether I can get the game or not. But to be part of 15-member squad of a Test series is a big thing for a player and I am really happy for that.”
Breaking down his specific training programme, Janat added: “Basically when there is a tournament in front of you in that case you take different preparation for it and I have done the same for the first-class competition. The wicket in Afghanistan where first-class cricket is being played usually it is dominated by the spinners. I was very specific about it and in the net usually practiced keeping that in mind like practicing sweep (to score runs against spinners).
“Apart from that I used to play spin on the grass and that proved to be very effective (as the ball travelled in different direction on the grass) and when I played matches Alhamdulillah I started performing because I feel the preparation was right for me,” he said.
“Look red-ball is a different ball game and needs to be played session by session and you need to bowl differently (compared to white-ball cricket). You have to force the batsmen so that he gets out and for that you need to be patient and I was just focused on holding my patience because here you cannot ask for result in short time like the way it happens in white-ball cricket and so made these mental adjustment so that I can perform with the ball,” he said.
Janat and his team mates will arrive in Dhaka tomorrow (June 10) to prepare for the lone Test against Bangladesh scheduled at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. It will be something of a homecoming for the all-rounder given how regularly he’s played in this country on the domestic circuit.
He so far played Bangladesh Premier League (franchise-based T20 tournament) for Comilla Victorians and Fortune Barishal. He has also featured in the Dhaka Premier League, country’s traditional list A tournament, as well featuring for Prime Bank Cricket Club.
Karim said that his experience in domestic cricket will help him but added that he is not taking anything for granted as he feels it only matters what you do on the specific day as a cricketer.
“It’s true those experience will help because where you play a lot of cricket it feels that it becomes your home town isn’t it? In Bangladesh I played a lot like in recent times I played in Dhaka Premier League (following the BPL),” said Karim.
“What I feel is that cricket is a game played on that specific day like if you have luck you can do a lot of things like you will be scoring runs with the bat or will be bowling in the right place on that particular day and you will only get what is destined for you,” he said.
“Apart from that you need to assess the condition and taking that into consideration it will certainly benefit me because I have played in the BPL and Dhaka Premier League. Certainly I will be confident because I have played there and it will be quite familiar with it and I would know how the wicket will behave and what should be my plan of action for it,” he concluded.