Bangladesh are all set to face West Indies in the first Test on Wednesday. Shakib Al Hasan is all set to lead the side after a very long time.
In conversations with Shakib, his disinterest seems easily visible, and because of that, there is an underlying need to rush through things. In press conferences, he often starts with clipped, one-word responses.
When asked what’s his feeling after becoming the captain of the Test team after seven years, he said:
“I am not that excited to be honest with you. I think it should be an easier challenge than before because of how the team is doing these days.”
In fact, Shakib never gets that excited about anything on the field:
“Everyone struggles after starting very well. Then they keep improving and also keep struggling. When a player goes through five years of this, things start to become easy for him.”
His most recent challenge – before the Afghanistan T20Is – was to ensure a regular spot in the Sunrisers’ playing XI in IPL 2018. He had been a regular at Kolkata Knight Riders since 2011. But when Sunrisers picked him and then gave him a regular place in the XI, it was up to Shakib to show he deserved that faith.
“Motivation grows from new challenges. I can’t exactly pinpoint what were the particular challenges [in the IPL] this year but I had to adjust to a new team,” he said.
“I am thankful to the franchise owners for picking me, and to the coaching staff for giving me confidence when the tournament started. With so many overseas players in the squad, getting an opportunity is a big deal. I had to make use of the opportunity but getting it was important. Tom [Moody] is someone I will thank, because of how he helped me,” Shakib added.
As captain, Shakib wants to build an attack that can sustain its quality for long periods. Pace bowling in particular, has been a worry for Bangladesh in Test cricket.
“It is hard to pinpoint who will be successful. Our fast bowlers have struggled both at home and away from home. I don’t remember the last bowler to take a five-wicket haul. I think that’s an area for big improvement. Our spinners have been successful when conditions have suited them, so that’s what our pace bowlers have to do. I think the BCB is working towards it by organising fast-bowling camps, which I feel may help,” he concluded.