Deprived as per his caliber Shakib praises Knights’ skipper

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He turned out to play 10 matches in the last season. But this time around, the Mr. All-rounder of Bangladesh has had only a single on-field outing so far for the Kolkata Knight Riders. [বাংলায় পড়ুনঃ অধিনায়কত্ব চ্যালেঞ্জিং বললেন সাকিব]

And as he will be joining the ongoing preparatory camp of Bangladesh in England soon prior to the ICC Champions Trophy, it’s obvious that he won’t be having anymore IPL (Indian Premier League) outings this season.

The KKR was struck early in the tournament with Chris Lynn being injured, but even then too Shakib didn’t get a look-in except once. Further questions & claims were raised from fans & critics about KKR being a Kolkata based franchise with a non-Kolkata based team management that hardly recruits Bengali cricketers since after 2011.

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Apart from Shakib of Bangladesh, it’s the rookie pacer Sayan Ghosh from West Bengal’s Chakdah district, who carries Bengali as his ethnicity & is yet to make it through to the playing XI of KKR with his Slinga-Malinga type side arm action.

However, Shakib being not too upset said, ”Dekhun, amra shokolei peshadaar cricketer (Look, we are all professional cricketers). In this kind of a tournament, team combination is a big factor. You have to look at the opposition, the conditions before you form a team. So some will always miss out. Those who play try to give their best. That’s it.”

Hopeful about KKR clinching the title this year for the third time Shakib will be leaving India in the next couple of day’s. ”Although I couldn’t play much this time… But the team is really doing well… So that feels nice. I hope we can win the IPL again,” he asserted being on the sidelines of a Puma Cricket Studio Program.

He was also on all praise towards KKR captain Gambhir, ”He is an exceptional captain. Tini tukhor bhabe team tar chalona kore thaaken, kaaron franchise cricket e netritto dewa besh kothin (The way he runs the team is superb, as it’s not easy to lead in franchise cricket)… But look at his record in the last seven years… We have qualified for knockouts most times. Plus, we have been champions in 2012 & 2014 under him. So he has been a definite reason why we have done well.”

About Rising Pune Supergiant, whom the KKR will play tonight at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens, Shakib said, ”We played against them a few days ago & beat them as well. But here, every team is competitive. Anyone can beat any team on a given day.”

On Pune’s Ben Stokes, who hit a splendid century in their last match, Shakib said, ” We will discuss things in the team meeting”.

On being asked about the resolutions with regards to gearing up for the national duty on behalf of Bangladesh Cricket Team before the all-important Champions Trophy, Shakib continued, ”We have good batsmen, pacers & spinners. I feel this team of ours is better than any other Bangladesh team. Our cricket is on the right track. Look at our performance in the last two years.”

”We are in a tough group in the Champions Trophy alongside Australia, England & South Africa… Kintu amra aattobisshashi valo prodorshoni marfot bissher dorbaare Bangladesh er pokkho theke tournament ti ke shoroniyo kore rakhbar uddesshe (But we are confident enough of doing well in the world event, so that people remember our show)” – he said.

The Kolkata Knight Riders will be taking on the Kolkata based industrialist Mr. Sanjiv Goenka owned Rising Pune Supergiant tonight at Kolkata’s home-ground, the Eden Gardens. Match starts at 20:00 IST & 20:30 BST.

Let’s have a look at the possible playing XIs of both rivals:-

Kolkata Knight Riders (likely): Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Robin Uthappa (Wicket-Keeper), Manish Pandey, Yousuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav.

Rising Pune Supergiant (likely) : Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steve Smith (Captain), Manoj Tiwary, Ben Stokes, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Wicket-Keeper), Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir.

Watch live on: Channel 9(BD), Sony ESPN, Sony Six, and Sony Max & Hot Star (online).

Rohit Reshammiya Hashmi