Is playing before the home crowd an advantage or a disadvantage?
It is both. At times when batsmen get bogged down for a while, the crowd gets restless and starts barracking. In such situation, players with relatively lesser experience often get out playing a bad shot.
At the same time, when the going gets tough, the crowd can buck you up. Players are encouraged to put in that extra bit so as not to let the fans down. And it often pays. I would say playing before your home crowd has more advantages than disadvantages.
Are you happy with your career so far?
I have every reason to be. I made my debut against India in the 1988 edition of the Asia Cup. Since then it has been a long journey. I have been associated with the few highs we have had so far in international cricket.
What has experience taught you?
I have learnt to be patient and not to panic under pressure. That is the only mantra for success at the international level. Also my attitude has changed.
When I made my debut, I batted at number 8 and made just 10. I was feeling very bad, but our wicket-keeper, Nanu bhai (brother) came and cheered me up saying "Why are you so morose? You have scored 10 runs." In those days players could keep their places in the side even after scoring just 10 runs. Today, I set myself higher goals.
What about your batting, of late you have been struggling with that aspect of your game?
A technical flaw had crept in. I was playing off my back foot most of the time. Our coach pointed it out and advised me to get on the front foot. I have regained my confidence and I am striking the ball better already.
Your critics say that you have held your place in the side only because of your captaincy, your comments.
I think it is not fair to say that. In modern cricket no side can afford to pick a player only for his captaincy. I may not have been in great touch of late and I also admit I have had one of my worst seasons in domestic cricket, but I am still averaging around 25 in international cricket.
How much has Bangladesh cricket benefited from various foreign coaches?
All have them (foreign coaches) have played important roles. Mohinder Amarnath was the first to come here. Then we had Gordon Greenidge. Eddie Barlow took over from Gordon and now in his absence, we have Sarwar bhai.
I wouldn't like to make comparisons. They all have been big names and they had their own styles, but the fact is our players have learnt from them. Our progress in the last decade shows the experiment has worked well.