Veteran all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is hopeful about the return of normalcy to Bangladesh cricket after a month of turmoil following the World Cup. Bangladesh had failed to produce good results and are in desperate need of success after losing to New Zealand in both the test series and T20I series which came after a rather disappointing World Cup run.
With the senior side not doing well, Bangladesh cricket’s only positive note of late has been their U-19 side reaching the finals at the expense of hosts England but eventually finishing runners-up to India.
In the light of all this, Shakib Al Hasan hopes the next game against Afghanistan will not end on a sour note. The Bengal tigers are playing Afghanistan in a single test-match that will begin at Chittagong’s Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium from 5th September. Shakib, who is expected to lead the side across all formats following the departure of the previous skipper Mashrafe Mortaza stressed that his side will be motivated against Afghanistan in the hopes of salvaging lost pride.
“Winning this match is very important,” Shakib said. “As I am seeing it because we did not have a good period overall for some time now whether it is with the A team, academy team- we could not perform very well except in the under-19s. So from that perspective, if we win this match, I think the situation will start looking normal again. It doesn’t matter [if we win] in a good way or a bad way. It’s the same if it’s 10 or 100 runs win but winning is most important,” he said.
The prolific all-rounder also highlighted that the performances of the batsmen will be important given Afghanistan’s spin strength. “There will always be some challenge for the batsmen to perform because their fast bowlers are good too and spinners are so well. So a big challenge is waiting for our batsmen. But I have faith in my batsmen. The level of preparation we have taken in the past two weeks; I don’t think we should work more than that. Everyone has given their best. Now we can feel proud if we can show that in the field,” he said.
Shakib was one of the highest scorers in the World Cup after promoting himself to number 3 in the batting order. He revealed that it is unlikely he will bat higher up in the test given his bowling responsibilities and the toll it takes to play in the subcontinent.
“Normally we have to bowl a lot in our country or sub-continent. It’s hard to bat top order after bowling for so long. If there is any chance that I bowl less, then I may bat from the top order,” said Shakib.
“Last time when we played in the West Indies, I batted at four. But it’s tough to bat at three or four after bowling 25-30 overs. Focus is very important for a Test batsman. You have to be in a fresh-mind to hold your focus. So I think batting a little down is better for me,” he concluded.
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