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Shakib looking to get Tigers back on track

  • Published at 08:39 pm September 4th, 2019
Bangladesh's Shakib al Hasan bats in the Chittagong nets Wednesday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik from Chittagong

Bangladesh will take on Afghanistan in what will be the maiden Test between the two sides at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium Thursday and all-rounder Shakib al Hasan is looking to get the team back on track

Bangladesh Test captain Shakib al Hasan believes a positive result from the lone Test match against Afghanistan will help the Tigers recover from the recent lows. 

Alongside the national team finishing eighth in the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales and then conceding a 3-0 whitewash against host Sri Lanka in the ODIs, the second string sides in the shape of Bangladesh A and BCB High Performance teams have also been dealing with defeats.

The only good thing was the performance of the Bangladesh U-19 side, who are currently touring Sri Lanka for the U-19 Asia Cup 2019 backed by some praiseworthy displays in their tour of England recently. 

The U-19 cricketers in the tri-nation U-19 youth ODI series had topped the point table to move to the final but were unfortunate to suffer a loss against India.

Bangladesh will take on Afghanistan in what will be the maiden Test between the two sides at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium Thursday and all-rounder Shakib is looking to get the team back on track.  

“From where I see it, Bangladesh cricket overall did not go through a good time recently let it be the [Bangladesh] A team or the Academy team. None of the teams have been able to perform well. Only U-19 team did well playing the final in England. Thinking that way, this game [against Afghanistan] is very important for us. Winning this match will help many things get back to the old shape,” Shakib explained to reporters at ZACS Wednesday.

Comparing the strength and experience, Bangladesh are miles ahead of Afghanistan in the longer version. 

Since gaining Test status in June 2017, the Afghans have played two five-dayers. 

In their maiden Test, against host India, Afghanistan lost by an innings and 262 runs. 

The Afghans, the babies of world cricket, however, registered a win in just their second game in the format, against Ireland, by seven wickets in March this year. 

Bangladesh meanwhile have played 114 Tests since gaining the status back in 2000.

Despite the vast difference, Shakib is in no mood to take the “inexperienced” opposition lightly and this has been driven from the two sides’ close contests in the shorter formats.

“I do not think the ranking matters much. One chief reason is that they [Afghanistan] have been playing cricket in the shorter formats for a long time now, and they have played well. Maybe we are thinking differently, bearing in mind the format is different. But they have cricketers who are able to win matches for them,” said Shakib.

 It is very likely that the game would be a straight fight between the spinners. 

Bangladesh are mulling going with their typical spin-based bowling attack, while Afghanistan have a similar strategy in mind.

Shakib believes if any differences are to be made, it has to come from the batsmen.

“It is proven that we bowl well at home. Our spinners have done their job whenever they got the opportunity. But with that said, they have good spinners too. I think batting can and shall make the difference between the two teams,” said the 32-year old.

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