Monday, 20 March, 2023

Watch it; It’s Shakib’s team

  • Z. Azam from Chattogram
  • 9 March, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Watch it; It’s Shakib’s team
Bangladesh cricketers are seen in jolly mood during a training session at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Wednesday. – TANVIN TAMIM

‘Watch it’ became the most used sentence when the Bangladesh team was completing a range-hitting session at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram on Wednesday.

The balls were flying from different corners of the field that forced head coach Chandika Hathurusingha to ask the journalists to wear helmets.

The batters seemed to be more involved in the session where a challenge was put up by T20 skipper Shakib Al Hasan that if anyone fails to hit a six, he will have to pave the way for others.

Shakib along with Liton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Towhid Hridoy, Rony Talukdar and Afif Hossain participated in the practice session at one of the centre wickets before rotating the strike.

It quickly became apparent that hitting a six enabled one to play an extra delivery. Shakib was pulled back by his teammates Shanto and Liton after they claimed that he failed to cross the boundary after hitting successive sixes. However, Shakib disapproved of the idea.

Shakib soon cleared the ropes and raised both his hands to celebrate the boundary. It was clear that he enjoyed the moment.

Many instances showed Shakib was acting as a skipper cum coach as he was at the centre stage at almost every session that began from telling who will go to bat in which nets and how the bowlers need to execute their planning in the middle.

While he was giving a tip to Liton that would help him be in the position stance-wise, the Tigers’ T20I skipper was also seen sharing tips with young spinners in the team in the likes of Nasum Ahmed and Tanvir Islam at nets as well as telling Afif to be prepared as he would have to bowl.

Shakib looked to be involved in every aspect of the training session before the first T20I against England and it looked more vibrant than at any time during the ongoing series.

It seemed Shakib owned this team and was prepared to have a look at every small detail in the practice session that would help him have a clear knowledge of his teammates’ strengths and weaknesses.

The way he also welcomed newcomers like Towhid Hridoy and Rony Talukdar and others, it appeared that making them comfortable was on his priority list more than anything else.

Shakib is well aware that he is the one to make all the calls in the middle considering the responsibility lies entirely on his shoulder in the T20 series as there are no other seniors in the team.

Tamim Iqbal and Mushfiqur Rahim have already retired from the shortest format while Mahmudullah is not considered in the T20Is in the recent past and it suggests that he will be guiding a relatively young side going forward.

In the ODIs, all four seniors are still available but in the T20Is, that is not the case and Shakib is determined to make a statement as his batters did during the range-hitting session - watch it; It’s Shakib’s team.