Even during the tri-nation series in Ireland, Shakib went on record to say that this is the hardest he has ever prepared for a World Cup – and the results are more than apparent.
After defeating West Indies comfortably at Taunton, the Tigers are now travelling to Nottingham in central England where they are scheduled to face Australia on Thursday.
Bangladesh will be relying on the services of ace all-rounder Shakib al Hasan who has hit a rich vein of form since the start of the tournament, having scored 75, 64, 121 and 124* at a staggering average of 128 runs along with a strike rate of 103.
Player of the match from the Windies game, Shakib became the second Bangladeshi batsman to hit consecutive tons at a World Cup after Mahmudullah’s antics in 2015. The all-rounder became the second Bangladeshi to register 6,000 ODI runs after Tamim Iqbal.
Furthermore, he became the quickest cricketer to join the prestigious club of 6,000 runs and 250 wickets in ODI cricket having played only 202 matches – a list that features the likes of Sanath Jayasuriya, Jacques Kallis and Shahid Afridi.
Shakib reached 6000 ODI runs in his 190th innings. A bit of context would help one understand how good he really is with the bat since he reached the mark in as many innings as Virender Sehwag, and quicker than the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Kumar Sangakkara – some of the best batsmen who have graced the sport.
He took his 250th wicket in his 199th match, and he has now beaten Chaminda Vaas.
These records do not come as a surprise considering how hard the southpaw has worked on his fitness and batting in recent months. Even during the tri-nation series in Ireland, Shakib went on record to say that this is the hardest he has ever prepared for a World Cup – and the results are more than apparent.
The world’s number one all-rounder talked to the press after the match against West Indies and shared more about his recent brilliant run of form.
“I am seeing the ball really well. I think it is one of the key parts of my batting. I am getting more time, too. A batsman obviously sees the ball well when he is going well. I want to continue this way. Since I am batting well, I want to maximize it,” said Shakib.
“One good thing about today’s innings was I was never in a rush chasing the total. I was patient enough to put the bad ball away,” he added.
Answering whether his unbeaten 124 off 99 deliveries was his best innings till date, Shakib opined that it is all about the mindset which allows one to perform well.
“In terms of runs, it is my best. I have done well in the past but it is not necessary that you always make the most runs or take the most wickets when you have the best mindset. I am in a good place now, which I want to continue,” the ace all-rounder said.
Furthermore, Shakib believes that a positive mindset is important in order to perform well at the highest level – the World Cup.
“Mindset is very important. At this level, in this atmosphere, mental strength is very helpful. Fitness is important too, but the more courageous you are, everything starts to click. The battle is within oneself. If you keep telling yourself, ‘I am winning,’ it will definitely help you win,” said Shakib.
He added, “It is not necessary that I will perform the best in my best mindset. I was in a great situation previously, as well as now. I don’t know the exact reason. I have gone through tough phases so when I face another tough situation, I remind myself of the tough times in the past, and I tell myself that I can get over this as well. This mindset is a huge support for me.”
Shakib al Hasan has been an important pillar in the Bangladesh batting order but he seems to have excelled at the number three spot since now he has more time to settle and construct a lengthy innings.
“I have batted at number five for most of this period (in the last two years). I didn’t get enough overs to bat on many occasions. I think batting at number three gives me more time in the innings. I have made a lot of fifties during this period,” he concluded.
Whatever may his reasons be, Tigers’ fans will be hoping that he continues his great form and take Bangladesh to the next level.