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Domingo laments loss of Shakib

Tigers take on South Africa in penultimate Super 12 match today

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 2 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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Domingo laments loss of Shakib

Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo admitted that not getting the service of Shakib Al Hasan in the remainder of the ongoing ICC T20 World Cup would be a big loss for their side considering apart from his cricketing skills, his leadership qualities in pressure situations would also be missed.

“(Shakib) obviously a big loss for the balance of the side. The team will also miss his leadership and the calmness that he brings around the environment in pressure situations, that aspect will be lost,” Domingo told reporters on Monday about Shakib, who was ruled out of the tournament with a hamstring injury.

“Just balancing the side without him, when he’s not there you go in either batsman light or bowler light. You might have to play a part-time bowler.

“But it does provide an opportunity for someone new to maybe make his first World Cup appearance tomorrow, and we’ve got to see that as a positive for whoever that young player is going to be tomorrow,” he said, hinting that Shamim Hossain may fill in his shoes against South Africa today in Abu Dhabi.

Having already lost the opening three matches of the Super 12 stage, Bangladesh will go into the match with an aim of earning some respectable results for their country after breaking the hearts of millions of fans in two of their last three matches.

Meanwhile, South Africa, who lost to Australia in the Super 12 opener, bounced back strongly with back to back victories over West Indies and Sri Lanka respectively and a win against Bangladesh would take them close to sealing their place in the last four.

Although Bangladesh, who played six T20Is against South Africa, couldn’t defeat the Proteas in the format so far, Domingo felt that they got an opportunity to change past history this time around.

“We had a good discussion after the West Indies game. Morale has been pretty low after the two narrow losses against Sri Lanka and West Indies. Our chance is probably over in this World Cup, but we have a lot to play for tomorrow. The guys are determined to put in good performances,” he said.

“Bangladesh have only won one game in the second phase of the T20 World Cup, ever. There’s an opportunity to improve on that record, to try to win the two games. It will be a big stepping stone for us. We have to open our account tomorrow,” he said, adding that he’s not the right person to tell whether Shakib and Mustafizur Rahman were tired or not as they joined their team straight from the IPL only a few days before their qualifying matches.

 “I can’t comment on how Shakib and Mustafiz are feeling. They can probably answer this question. All I can say is that when you are losing, you can always point at things.

“I don’t think we are in a position to do that. We have made some mistakes at crucial stages. We can’t shift the blame to anything else but ourselves.

“Bubble life has been hard. I have been home for five weeks in this entire year. But that’s the card we are dealt with, and it’s the same for everyone,” he added.

Domingo added that it would be harsh to judge the team based on the results in the World Cup.

“When things are not going well, you forget to look at those positive aspects. We are one of the youngest sides, age-wise, but people forget that because we have two or three really experienced players. The results haven’t been great but I have been proud of how the boys fought during those tense encounters,” said Domingo.

 “I know there’s a lot of negativity around the side, but there is a lot to be positive about. I know there’s criticism about certain players and certain aspects of the coaching staff. But, I feel the team has progressed immensely.

“From being ranked No 11 in the world to being ranked No 6 (currently ninth), in eight months, is a big achievement for Bangladesh cricket. But we know we are a long way from where we need to be. But it is not going to happen overnight. It is a process. There’s another World Cup in a year’s time, things have to be put in place,” he concluded.