Shakib and Sunil are no different: Morgan
Ahead of his team’s first match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai on Sunday (April 11), Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan praised Shakib Al Hasan, saying the all-rounder adds different dynamics to the team.
Shakib was bought by the 2012 and 2014 champions Kolkata in the auction earlier this year for INR 3.2 crore, and the team’s English captain explained why they were so desperate to bring back Shakib, who had crucial roles in both the seasons KKR won the IPL title previously.
“Given that we have a bit more travel this year and we go from venue to venue, it’s important to have strength and depth in the squad. Shakib Al Hasan gives us a different dynamic in the team,” said Morgan.
However, it was also clear from Morgan’s statement that Shakib may not be a regular starter in all matches for Kolkata this year.
“Given that we play at different venues where the conditions change quite a lot, you have a spin bowling all-rounder who had success in international cricket and IPL at different stages. If called upon, he can definitely deliver.”
The Kolkata team management has a big task in hand to pick one between Shakib and Sunil Narine in the playing XI, as Morgan was equally high on the Caribbean spin maestro.
“In big moments of the game, particularly last year, you would throw Sunil the ball or you would get him in with the bat because he has been in that situation over and over again; he believes in himself and in the team to go and get through and win that situation.”
But in one area, Morgan sees no difference between Shakib and Narine, and that is to perform in pressure situations.
“The IPL is such a competitive tournament with the smallest of margins that can make a big difference, particularly in the playoff stages. For me, when I was a young kid coming through as a professional and looking to guys who had either won things or had a different attitude regardless of the situation of the game, they would always have a positive body language, or they would always be doing something to affect the game. Shakib and Sunil are no different.”