Thursday, 18 August, 2022

Shakib wants to see ‘team performance’

Newly appointed Bangladesh Test captain Shakib Al Hasan said he seeks the players will perform as a team in the series against the West Indies starting on Thursday at Antigua.

Shakib took over the role of the Test captain after previous captain Mominul Haque decided to step aside after failing to find a rhythm in captaincy. In the last series at home against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh lost 1-0 in two-match Test competition.

“I’m looking for a team performance in this series,” Shakib told the reporters ahead of the first match. “We haven’t been able to play well in Tests recently. So this series is a great chance for us to prove everyone wrong and play well. We have to take a good performance from this Test.”

The allrounder said he is not worried about his individual performance as he has done well against Sri Lanka at home.

In the last tour to the West Indies in 2018, Bangladesh failed to do well. But Shakib believes the situation is better now for Bangladesh and they are upbeat to display a good brand of cricket.

The Bangladesh captain also said the wicket of Antigua looks completely different than he saw it earlier.

“The wicket looks good to me. It would help the batters early on, but batting may get tough in the fourth innings of the match when spinners should come into the effect,” Shakib said.

Bangladesh will not get the service of the veteran batter Mushfiqur Rahim who opted to not play this series for personal reasons.

The visitors also lost Yasir Ali Rabbi, a middle-order batter, due to a back injury that he sustained during the tour match.

To replace him, Bangladesh called in Anamul Haque Bijoy to the Test side after eight years. Anamul played his last Test in the venue where Bangladesh will play the second Test of this series— Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, Gros Islet, St Lucia.

In this four-Test career, Anamul scored only 73 runs with the best of 22 runs. However, he has done well in First-class cricket since his last omission from the Test team in 2014. He will be available to play Tests ahead of the second match that would begin on June 24.

He is now the youngest Bangladeshi batter to have scored 7000 or more runs in First-class cricket. He also has 22 centuries and 37 half-centuries in First-class cricket.

Mustafizur Rahman, the left-arm pacer, is set to return to Test after a while. The pacer was not willing to play in the longer format of the game. But the team management convinced him to do so.

Meanwhile, Bangladeshi fans might not be able to watch the Test series on television as no channel has shown interest to broadcast the game in Bangladesh. In that case, the spectators might need to turn to the internet to watch the game through alternative channels.

The two-match Test series is a part of the ongoing cycle of the ICC World Test Championship.

Apart from two Tests, Bangladesh will take on the hosts in a three-match ODI and three-match T20I series on this tour.