Shakib Al Hasan is in red hot form at the 2019 World Cup, picking up back-to-back tons to become the highest run-getter in the tournament so far. Bangladesh are in confident mood after their tremendous chase against the West Indies and have Australia as their next assignment on June 20 at Nottingham.
Such has been Shakib’s form that Australia have summoned a spinner just to negate Shakib, wrote Cricket Australia website. Left-arm spinner Ashton Agar was summoned to their training session two days out from a World Cup encounter at Trent Bridge.
“Shakib, one of the greatest allrounders of the modern era, took a 10-wicket match haul in Bangladesh's historic Test victory against Australia two years ago.
“He faces the Aussies again in form this time around, fresh off a match-winning unbeaten 124 from just 99 balls against West Indies on Monday.
“A second ton of the tournament fired him to the top of the World Cup’s run-scoring charts and, more importantly, kept Bangladesh in the hunt for a semi-final berth,” the report read.
While Shakib’s bat has sparked concerns for opposition, his bowling too has come good in this tournament. Australia wanted to recreate facing a left-arm spinner in order to be ready for the upcoming match against Bangladesh.
"(Shakib is) probably the world's best allrounder and a left-arm spinner," said coach Justin Langer.
"It was great of Ash to come down and great to have him here. This time last year he was in the Australian one-day side.
"One of our values is professionalism and (it's beneficial) to draw on someone like Ashton Agar to come in and give us a like for like (spinner),” he said.
Agar is expected to feature for Australia A this Thursday but still showed up to the national team’s training session to give them an upper hand when they face Bangladesh’s ace all-rounder.
Australia’s pace attack will be key in their pursuit to thwart Bangladesh but Shakib, who yesterday cut and pulled Windies pacers with aggression had already mentioned that he did not hold any fear for pace duo Mitchell Stark and Pat Cummins.
"We've been facing some of the best fast bowlers in the last four matches," said Shakib. "Every match - every team's got at least two bowlers who bowl 140 (kph)-plus, and we've been coping well.
"We're not worried about that because we played England. We played West Indies. Both the teams got 140, 150-plus bowlers.
"I think faced with all this, we just need to do our basics right. I think we're a skilled team and we are capable enough to counter those challenges.
"I've been batting well. I don't know if this is the best I have been batting or not, but so far it's going well and fingers crossed, hope it continues,” Shakib said in yesterday’s post-match press conference.