• Friday, May 29, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:32 am

Fitter, hungrier Shakib targets greater glories

  • Published at 10:50 pm May 8th, 2019
Shakib
Bangladesh's Shakib al Hasan speaks to the media in Dublin Wednesday

Like most other great sportspersons, the vice-captain of the Bangladesh side seemed to start picking up his rhythm in the right time as he showed some glimpses of his former self in the first match of his side in the tri-nation ODI series against the West Indies in Ireland Tuesday

In the recent ICC tournaments, Bangladesh were perhaps the most improved side, and with the natural progression, the Tigers will be hoping to get even further and make a memorable cricket World Cup in England and Wales, scheduled to start at the end of this month. 

Bangladesh may have transformed themselves from a perennial loser to a force to be reckoned with, but the cricket crazy nation of 160million will wrest much of their hope on one man, Shakib al Hasan, one of the finest all-rounders of the game. 

But the ace southpaw had some rough times recently as injury shattered his form and confidence, and the player himself did not take part in any game for Bangladesh in the last five months.

To make things worse, he had a dismal Indian Premier League, where he did not get much chances, and fans started to raise concerns about the prospects of the great man. 

But, like most other great sportspersons, the vice-captain of the Bangladesh side seemed to start picking up his rhythm in the right time as he showed some glimpses of his former self in the first match of his side in the tri-nation ODI series against the West Indies in Ireland Tuesday.

Shakib made vital contributions in the Windies innings as he got a wicket, held a brilliant catch and more importantly, conceded just 33 runs off 10 overs that helped them restrict the opponent, who made a flying start, for an under-par score. 

Later, he made an unbeaten half century to make sure his side clinched a comprehensive victory. 

Not only the performance with cherry and willow, the man looked determined physically and mentally as it was evident while contacting him face to face. 

He looked like the Shakib of 2007 and he informed that he lost six kgs in weight in the last four weeks. 

“I am preparing myself since the last two months for the upcoming World Cup. I have worked really hard. This is probably the best effort I have given in last eight-nine years. I have done every possible thing to become more fit. I think I am in a good position now,” said Shakib at the team hotel lobby of Castle Knock Hotel Wednesday.

“I am feeling pretty well. I am feeling confident and feeling a lot more fit. If you are fully fit, then you can do whatever your mind wants to do to perform better on the cricket field. Now the important part is to keep performing well, and performing consistently. Obviously I have changed my diet plan as well. Otherwise, it could not have been possible.”

Shakib is always known for his hunger and smartness in cricket, and besides those instincts, whenever he feels something is not right he never hides it and tries to resurrect things. 

His mentor from the young age, Mohammad Salahuddin, is his most reliable person in need, and like the old days he resorted to him once again.  

“I have worked with Salahuddin sir about my bowling and batting. I have done extra work with my fitness. Also, I have worked with Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Australian trainer Theo Kapakoulakis to become more fit. He had done a fair job and I think it was helpful for me,” said Shakib.

“Sometimes you need extra motivation to enhance yourself. I am feeling that hunger right now. Actually after 2011, I did not manage to work on my fitness solely. Now I had the opportunity and I tried to capitalize the chance. Now I am focusing on performing consistently,” concluded Shakib, who was brimming with confidence.

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