As the spellbinding figure suggests, Shakib, who returned after such a long hiatus, showed absolutely no rust
Shakib al Hasan is often called “Nabab” or “the emperor” by his fans, and the Nabab duly marked his international return with a majestic man-of-the-match performance as he produced one of the finest spells of bowling to beat visiting West Indies in their first ODI of the three-match series in Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium Wednesday.
All eyes were on Shakib as the southpaw appeared for the first time in an international match after completing his one-year ban imposed by International Cricket Council in October 2019, and the best performer in Bangladesh history generated a fine performance as usual under the spotlight.
The Windies were all out for just 122 runs while batting first as the inexperienced side laden with many debutants had no answer to the extremely clinical bowling of the spin wizard.
Shakib's bowling figure of 7.2-2-8-4 is enough to portray the picture and later it was found out that the return was best by a Bangladeshi bowler against the West Indies in ODIs.
As the spellbinding figure suggests, Shakib, who returned after such a long hiatus, showed absolutely no rust and the experienced campaigner was content with his effort.
"I am feeling okay. Playing after 16-17 months is not easy. But happy with the way I performed with the ball. My plan was to keep it simple, just pitch the ball in the right areas, and hope for the wicket to do the rest. The thing is, we haven't played for 10 months. Everyone is anxious and keen to play matches. Everyone was nervous, but also very excited,” Shakib said to the broadcasters during the innings break.
Bangladesh ODI captain Tamim Iqbal believes the batsmen responded sensibly in the low-scoring affair against visitors...Sports Tribune on Wednesday, 20 January 2021
Shakib also praised young pacer Hasan Mahmud as the debutant took three wickets conceding 28 runs in his six overs.
“There are quite a few good fast bowlers coming through the system. I played the previous T20 tournament (Bangabandhu T20 Cup), and I saw a lot of good fast bowlers bowl their heart out. I played with Hasan in the same team (Gemcon Khulna), and it was good to see him come out and express himself," Shakib said.
Though Shakib did not shine that much with the bat (19 off 43 deliveries with one four) in his new batting position, playing 40 odd balls at the middle, but a brief stay at the crease will give him some confidence in the remainder of the series.
The team management has changed Shakib’s batting order from this series as he is batting at No 4 instead of his favorite No 3 position.
Shakib scored heavily at No 3 spot in the past few years as he totaled 1,177 runs from 23 games for Bangladesh with a brilliant average of 58.58.
But Shakib said he has no problem batting at No 4 and he is respecting the decision that came from the team management for the benefit of the side.
“Coach, captain and team management have taken that decision and I have to respect it as a player. It doesn't matter whether I agree or disagree on this. I always try to play for the team. For me, achievement for the team is always more important than individual achievement. So batting at No 4 will not make a big difference for me,” said confident looking Shakib.