Shakib shows his impact even without practice

Publish: 8:17 PM, May 15, 2022 | Update: 8:17:PM, May 15, 2022

Shakib Al Hasan gave the Bangladesh team a necessary balance it needs in the Test cricket, said spin-bowling coach Rangana Herath.

According to Herath in this kind of unforgiving condition, Shakib’s presence boosted the side many ways even though Sri Lanka put them in driving seat for the timebeing, reaching 258-4 on day one of the first Test at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here today.

Shakib returned to the side after recovering from his Covid-19 and it was his first Test in this year. There was some debate whether he should play the game without having any practice.

Hearath conceded that Shakib’s presence was a blessing for the side as they can play an extra batter and bowler at the same time, which means Bangladesh effectively played five bowlers and seven batters in this Test.

“I always believe that if we have five bowlers in a Test, it will help us take 20 wickets.. with or without the heat. It makes life easier for the bowlers. It gives a bit of rest for the others,” Herath said here today.
Shakib bowled 19 overs and gave away just 27 runs to take one wicket. He was the most economical bowler on day one and was the reason that Sri Lanka batters couldn’t score freely in this pretty flat deck.

With such kind of performance Shakib proved that even without practice, he is always an impactful player for Bangladesh, something that Herath also admitted.

“We don’t get too many players of his caliber. Even without practicing, he was on his mark with his first ball. It is very good for his confidence. He bowled very well today, he was the most economical bowler. Shakib gives us balance when he is around. Otherwise, we need to find someone who can bat and bowl,” he said.

“I was 100 per cent confident that he will deliver even without practice,” he added.

Herath also said that the Bangladeshi spinners bowled well in partnership to stem the run flow of Lankan batters. Sri Lanka though lost four wickets, they couldn’t actually score at least three runs per over, which is seen as a success for Bangladesh in this condition and wicket.

“It depends on their bowling actions. Shakib can easily bowl slower. Taijul varies his pace well too. Nayeem needs to understand the situation and his role. He has to improve in that case,” Herath said.
But he felt that Nayeem could be an asset for Bangladesh in overseas condition because of his height.

“When you have a tall guy like Nayeem, it always gives you extra advantage (in overseas conditions). Mehidy (Miraz) has been playing very well recently. Nayeem bowled well given his opportunity, which is fantastic for Bangladesh cricket,” he remarked.