The rule for two new balls to be used from both ends introduced new dimension to cricket and during their last Asia Cup game against India, Bangladesh faced the new ball from two ends with a new opening pair. With an unstable opening pair and the loss of Tamim Iqbal to injury, the Tigers have not seen the familiar Tamim-Shakib Al Hasan partnerships which thrived in the recent few series.
With Tamim out of the picture for the Asia Cup, onus now falls on Shakib to deliver even more and the all-rounder understands the responsibility of not only coming into to face the music early on against the new ball but also building the innings in the absence of anchor Tamim.
“It’s not disturbing, but of course it is challenging. Being a number three batsman, you have to be prepared for the scenario where the opener gets out first ball and you have to go out immediately. I have no complaints about that," Shakib said on facing the new ball if openers do not survive for long in the upcoming matches.
Shakib performed tremendously in West Indies even as he was carrying an injury. Bangladesh would love to see him resurrect that kind of form with the bat after batting debacles in the last two matches. The all-rounder got out for a first-ball duck against Sri Lanka and did not make the kind of contribution he would have liked against Afghanistan and India. He vowed to provide the best possible support to the team with the bat knowing that Tigers have been able to come back from difficult situations before.
“Maybe I have not also been able to give the best possible support to the team as far as batting is concerned. Of course it becomes easy when the openers can give good starts. But that doesn’t mean that the following batsmen cannot do well if the openers don’t do well.”