The Bangladesh think tank will once again rely on their most experienced cricketer Shakib al Hasan in the bowling department in the upcoming two-match Test series against England.
The selectors faced some difficulties to find out the best possible bowling options in the longest format of the game and made six changes, including four uncapped players, for the first Test, starting Thursday.
Left-arm spinner Taijul Islam, youngster Mehedi Hasan Miraz and all-rounder Shuvagata Hom are the other specialist spinners in the squad while Mahmudullah and Sabbir Rahman are also expected to chance their arms.
However, Shakib, who is the leading Tigers wicket-taker in Tests with 147 scalps in 42 matches at an average of 33, is not only expected to lead the spin department but also the overall bowling of the home side.
When asked whether he will face added pressure, the champion cricketer informed that his role has changed, compared to the past, and that there are other specialist spinners in the squad who can make an impact with the ball.
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Bangladesh's Shakib al Hasan bats in the nets DHAKA TRIBUNE
“No, I don’t think there’s any pressure as I don’t bowl that much compared to the past. Back when I used to bowl a lot I had a different role but now I don’t need to bowl that much and it’s not like I am playing as the main spinner in the side,” Shakib told the media on Tuesday.
“Earlier, there was only one spinner in the side. Back then I had to play the role of the leading spinner in the team but now I don’t play that role. I will try to play the role which has been given to me at the moment,” he said.
According to sources, Bangladesh might opt for one pacer in the playing XI in the first Test. And Shakib believes if the pitch offers any assistance to the bowlers then they very well have the ability to take 20 wickets.
“A lot will depend on the pitch. When we play at home normally they try to prepare a flat wicket offering runs for the batsmen. But if there is something for the bowlers, like pacers or spinners, I am confident that our bowlers have the ability to take 20 wickets in a Test match. But if there’s a flat track then it’s hard for the bowlers to do something extraordinary,” said Shakib, who is Bangladesh's third highest run-getter in Tests with 2823 runs from 42 matches at 39.76.