• Thursday, Jun 20, 2019
  • Last Update : 10:11 am

Shakib urges openers to step up

  • Published at 08:45 pm November 29th, 2018
Shakib al Hasan
Bangladesh Test captain Shakib al Hasan practices at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Mirpur Md Manik

Youngster Shadman Islam will open the innings, in all likelihood, with Soumya Sarkar while Liton Kumar Das is another option

Bangladesh Test captain Shakib al Hasan has urged his openers to step up ahead of the second and final Test match against the West Indies, which begins Friday.

Batting has been a concern for the Tigers as the openers have failed to produce good opening stands in the last few Tests, especially in the absence of Tamim Iqbal. 

Bangladesh will play another new opening pair as Imrul Kayes was ruled out after the first Test due to injury. 

Youngster Shadman Islam will open the innings, in all likelihood, with Soumya Sarkar while Liton Kumar Das is another option.

“Opening is obviously very important in every format. If the opening batsmen can give us a big score or a solid start, then the game becomes easy for everyone. We have tried quite a few options for the opening slot in the last few games, but we have not found the right combination yet. Hopefully we can find someone in the next match that we can rely on for the future,” Shakib said during the pre-match press conference in Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium Thursday.  

“To be honest, it’s not easy to face a situation like 10 for two often. It creates a lot of pressure for the middle-order players. The middle-order batsmen might not score big in every match. So our opening pair needs to step up. A big hundred from an opener or even a fifty-plus partnership at the beginning of the innings will give our batsmen more confidence,” he added.

Shakib believes the team need to perform better to defeat the West Indies in the Dhaka Test. 

The dressing room is confident of sealing a 2-0 series sweep, but Shakib is of the opinion that the players need to work hard to achieve that.

“We have to work really hard to beat West Indies. We need to perform better compared to them in every aspect. I think we need to perform better than we did in the Chittagong Test to win in Dhaka. We believe we can overcome this challenge. We have to be mentally and physically tough in the upcoming match. There is no extra pressure on us and the team are confident ahead of the final match of the series. Hopefully we can hold on to this confidence for the next few days,” the Bangladesh skipper informed.  

Shakib raised concerns regarding his full fitness ahead of the first Test, but the left-hander informed that he is in a better condition now ahead of the second Test.

“I think my fitness is slightly better than the last game. The Chittagong Test ended in three days. So I got two extra days for recovery. I tried to work on my fitness in those extra days. So physically, I am in a better position compared to the Chittagong Test,” Shakib concluded.