Ricky Ponting believes that it is difficult to bowl against Shakib al Hasan who “scores in slightly different areas."
Five-time world champion Australia have yet again proved to the cricketing world the level of professionalism they maintain in order to achieve the best possible result.
The Aussies have called-in the service of Australia A spinner, Ashton Agar to their nets in order to negate Bangladesh’s in-form all-rounder Shakib al Hasan ahead of their clash Thursday.
It makes sense considering how left-arm spinner Agar will be able to replicate Shakib’s style of bowling and better prepare the Australian batsmen.
Facing the world No 1 all-rounder has been a sorry-affair for the Aussies as Shakib starred with a 10-wicket haul in Bangladesh’s historic Test victory over the mighty Australia on home soil in 2017.
Agar, who was preparing with the Australia A side in Northampton ahead of their one-day tour of England, was brought in to bowl in the nets two days prior to the match against the Tigers.
A statement from Cricket Australia suggested that the spinner was seen donning an orange cap, the type that is handed to net bowlers by ICC, and bowling alongside Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa to batsmen Aaron Finch, David Warner, and Steve Smith among others.
@BCBtigers are targeting repeating their all-round performance against formidable opponent @CricketAus when they face off against each other in their 2019 @cricketworldcup match at Trent Bridge Thursdayhttps://t.co/f4TNb7X7Dn#BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS #BANGLADESH #CRICKET #CA #CWC— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) June 19, 2019
However, the Australian think-tank will be plotting to stop Shakib’s impressive form with the bat who will be coming into Thursday's match having scored 75, 64, 121 and 124* at a staggering average of 128 with a strike rate of 103.
Shakib, who is arguably the best all-rounder in modern day cricket, is regarded highly by the Aussies’ think-tank as they leave no stones unturned to devise a plan to stop the left-hander.
Australian head coach, Justin Langer said, "(Shakib is) probably the world's best all-rounder and a left-arm spinner. It was great of Ash to come down and great to have him here. This time last year he was in the Australian one-day side.”
"One of our values is professionalism and (it's beneficial) to draw on someone like Agar to come in and give us a like for like (spinner)," Langer added.
Langer isn’t the only one who shares the sentiment.
Another Australian great Ricky Ponting has also voiced how important Shakib is for the Bangladesh set-up with both bat and bowl.
Twitteratti from around the world took to social media to mark Bangladesh's record seven-wicket win over West Indies in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 on Monday.https://t.co/jjdOSShld8#WIvBan #CricketWorldCup2019— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) June 18, 2019
Ponting believes that it is difficult to bowl against Shakib who “scores in slightly different areas."
"He’s a very strong squarer of the wicket," said Ponting.
"He’s got a pretty weak grip so he tends to hit the ball really well to backward point and third man.
Moreover, the World Cup winning captain did not shy away from tagging Shakib as “smart” and “clever” with the bowl.
"When you talk about smarts and being clever, when he's got the ball in his hand, he certainly is that. I mean he’s never been a big turner of the ball, but he changes his pace up really well and looks to be really attacking,” added Ponting.