Two matches, two man of the match awards, one man. The all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is in the form of his life. If anyone has a doubt how Shakib maintains his number one position in the all-rounder rankings for so long, the performances of Shakib in the first two matches of the tri-nation series is the best example to give.
After a disappointing end in 2017, Bangladesh started the new year with the tri-nation series as their first mission. With no head coach around, Soumya Sarkar dropped, Imrul Kayes injured and Sabbir Rahman demoted to lower order, Bangladesh had some serious things to worry.
The most important question was who will bat at one down and it was none other than Shakib who took the responsibility under his belt. With the kind of batting approach Shakib has, it was a question for many if Shakib can adjust to his new position.
But as always, the 30-year old all-rounder stand out on top and not only with the bat, he gave a ten on ten all-round performance in the first two matches of the tri-nation series against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka respectively.
In the first match against Zimbabwe, Shakib opened the bowling and took 2 wickets in the very first over of the match. He ended with 3 for 43 in that match and he also ran out set batsman Sikandar Raza. Batting at one down for the first time in his career, Shakib scored 37 from 46 balls and he was awarded man of the match without any kind of hesitation for his all-round performance.
Then came the match against Sri Lanka and Shakib put up even a bigger show with bat, ball and with his amazing fielding. The new number three batsman of Bangladesh proved it to everyone that he can bat in any position with his maiden fifty at one down. His knock of 67 runs off just 63 balls guided Bangladesh to a massive score of 320.
With the ball, he continued his performance where he left. He again picked up 3 wickets and also ran out the Sri Lankan captain with an amazing throw and it can be said that it was yet another a total all-round performance delivered by Shakib.
Despite Tamim Iqbal’s back to back fifty, it denied him the man of the match awards due to Shakib’s brilliance and there might not be anything that Shakib can’t do. During the innings break, Athar Ali Khan asked Tamim why Shakib took the responsibility of batting at one down. In reply, Tamim said he took it because he loves to take new challenges. Now we know that he surely does.