Shakib Al Hasan Shares Thoughts on Bangladesh Team
Shakib Al Hasan, the talented all-rounder for Bangladesh, has expressed his thoughts on the intense competition for the number seven spot in the One-Day International (ODI) team ahead of the upcoming World Cup in India. With the tournament set to begin in October, Shakib believes that several individuals are vying for the coveted position, putting the selectors in a tough spot.
In recent matches, Bangladesh has given Mehedy Hasan the opportunity to bat at number seven in the 50-over format, with the team management showing faith in him as the designated finisher. However, the likes of Afif Hossain and Mahmudullah, who were unable to retain their spots in the ODI squad, have also been considered as potential candidates.
Additionally, Yasir Ali accompanied the team to England for the recent series against Ireland, although he did not make it into the playing XI.
Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh's ODI captain, previously mentioned that a few spots in the team were up for grabs, and the number seven slot was one of them. Shakib acknowledges the challenges faced by the selectors due to the fierce competition for this position.
Shakib's Statement on the Squad
Speaking to reporters during a private program in England, Shakib stated, "I am neither the selector nor part of the decision-making, so it is difficult for me to say, but I am happy with the team, and I feel whoever will be in the team will be representing 17 Crores people and will try to give their best."
Regarding the competition for the number seven spot, Shakib highlighted the numerous talented players contending for the position. "From a personal point of view, the competition is not only about one guy; there are many guys for it. Everyone is performing, and if you see domestic cricket, there is Afif Hossain, Mossadek Hossain, and Sohan Nurul, while Riyad Mahmudullah is playing brilliantly. There is Rabbi with the team while Miraj is batting at seven," he explained.
With multiple options available, making the final decision is not an easy task. However, Shakib trusts that the coach, selectors, and captain will make the right choice considering the upcoming World Cup.
In the past, Bangladesh has experimented with various players in the finisher's role, but without notable success. Mehedy, who has played five innings at number seven, has shown promise with a strike rate of 92 and an average of 37. While there is room for improvement, Mehedy has demonstrated the necessary determination for the role.
Afif Hossain, with 12 innings under his belt, has received more opportunities than others but struggled with a strike rate of 74, below the modern-day cricket standards. Yasir Ali and Nurul Hasan had limited game time.
Shakib's Future Hopes
Shakib expressed his hope that the number seven spot would be settled before the Asia Cup and emphasized the importance of supporting the management's decision and the selected player, regardless of the outcome. However, addressing this position needs to be a priority for the team management, as Bangladesh has three ODIs against Afghanistan before the Asia Cup.
With the World Cup approaching, Shakib believes that the team is in the early stages of preparation, and the management is working to identify areas of improvement. He stressed that the decisions made by the selectors and coaches are based on the best interests of the team. Shakib also highlighted the need to learn from past mistakes, ensuring they don't repeat the errors that hindered their progress in the previous World Cup.
In conclusion, Shakib emphasized the need for improvement in all aspects of the game to compete with other teams in the upcoming World Cup. He acknowledged that the conditions in ICC tournaments are fair for all teams and that Bangladesh must capitalize on their opportunities and avoid repeating past errors.