Shakib Al Hasan wants 4-5 reliable Bangladesh pacers for T20 World Cup – Asia Cup was an eye-opener for us

Bangladesh skipper Shakib Al Hasan reckoned that his team is still looking for 4-5 quality fast bowlers with the T20 World Cup knocking on the door. On Thursday, September 1, the Tigers’ death bowling came under fire as Sri Lanka beat Bangladesh by two wickets in a Group B clash of Asia Cup 2022.

After the defeat, Bangladesh became the first team to get knocked out of the Asia Cup. Even in the match against Afghanistan, the Tigers let their opposition off the hook after getting them on the mat.

Before the tournament, Shakib said that one shouldn’t expect an overnight transformation of Bangladesh’s T20 team. After Thursday’s loss, the veteran said that Bangladesh are still trying to figure out the best way of playing the format.

“It’s not easy to start from scratch. Had we played a few series before, we could have planned better. The thing is that our planning has started now and it was in the match against Afghanistan. Some decisions will work out and some may not,” Shakib was quoted as saying in the post-match presser.

For the match against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh dropped both their openers, Mohammad Naim Sheikh and Anamul Haque Bijoy, and roped in Sabbir Rahman and Mehidy Hasan Miraz. While Sabbir got out cheaply, Miraz scored a quickfire 38. Shakib said that the Tigers always had Mehidy as an option for opening the batting.

“Miraz was always in the mix to open the batting since we were struggling to find a proper opener. We didn’t take that decision against Afghanistan. But there was no guarantee that had he opened the batting, he would have done well. Had Miraz and Sabbir not performed today, people would have criticised the move,” he stated.

The Magura-born Shakib also said that the Asia Cup was an eye opener for the Bangladesh bowlers.

“Earlier, I said that we had a goal and we are focussing on it. If you look at the difference in the first and second match, we have improved a lot going by how we used to play.

“Before the World Cup, we will be playing a few matches and that might help us. The Asia Cup was an eye opener for our bowlers and their performances,” Shakib said.

Moreover, Shakib said that he expects his fast bowlers to shoulder a chunk of the responsibility on Australian soil.

“On this pitch, you would expect your pacers to bowl 12 overs and they have to deliver. The ones who will deliver will stay and the ones who won’t deliver won’t stay.

“In two matches, we tried out four bowlers. Before the World Cup, hopefully, we will find four to five bowlers who will give us 12-14 overs as in Australia, we would have to depend a lot on our pace bowling,” he added.

— ENDS —