MIRPUR: Liton Das' magnificent century against India in the Asia Cup 2018 final may not have won Bangladesh the title but it has relieved the batsman of self-doubt.
The 24-year-old's returns before the final were 6, 41, 7, 6, 0 and did not inspire much confidence.
However, he turned the tide in the title clash against India in Dubai as he blitzed to 121 off just 117 balls opening the innings, adding 120 runs with Mehidy Hasan at the start.
Das' maiden one-day international ton helped Bangladesh scale 222 while batting first but that didn't prove to be enough as India chased down the target off the last ball of the match and with three wickets in hand to deny Bangladesh their maiden title, an ICC report on Wednesday said.
However, for Das, who had been in and out of the ODI side, the innings was a big one.
"My first ODI hundred is very important. I was on the back foot for quite some time so for me it became imperative to perform," Das said here ahead of Bangladesh's home series against Zimbabwe.
"My main aim is to be consistent because when I play domestic cricket I score quite consistently. Now I am looking forward to find ways so that I can perform consistently at international level," he said.
Das carried that form and confidence into domestic cricket, where he smashed the fastest double-century in Bangladesh's first-class history, off just 140 balls for Rangpur Division.
Have these two innings changed the course of his career? "I don't think that way," he said.
"Because for me each match is important. One match can have a lot of impact on someone's career but you have to start from scratch in the next match."
Conceding that cricket is a "mental game" where you are "bound to succeed if your mind is clear", Das added, "As I was not performing naturally there were doubts regarding my ability. After performing, probably a lot of the pressure was gone, so perhaps that's why I managed to play like that for Rangpur," he said.
Now that the expectations have gone up, Das will be under scrutiny during the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe that begins on October 21.
"Certainly there is pressure of expectations as I have done well. My team and my teammates will want me to do well again, while I would like to fulfil my expectations," he added.