Upon reaching Dhaka a day after his Indian Premier League side Sunrisers Hyderabad lost the final to Chennai Super Kings on Sunday, ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan immediately rush to the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel to receive the Rupchanda Prothom Alo Sportsman of the year award yesterday.
However, before that the 31-year-old did interact with the media at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on various issues, including his Hyderabad teammate from Afghanistan and the number one spinner in T20Is Rashid Khan, his experience in the IPL this season and the upcoming three-match T20I series against Afghanistan.
The most talked about issue during the Tigers' just-concluded training camp was the possible threat of Rashid in the upcoming series, but when the question was put to Shakib, Bangladesh's Test and T20I captain, in his unique fashion, came up with counter questions. “Who are discussing him [Rashid]? You [journalists] are asking the players about him and the players are answering? Or are the players talking about him? Whatever it is, it's fine as anyone who plays international cricket is a good bowler. So, someone will bowl well while some will bowl badly. Good batsmen will handle him well... that's the rule,” Shakib said.
So it was again asked whether Bangladesh need to plan separately for Rashid as there has been a lot of discussion about him. Shakib, however, remained unmoved.
“If you [reporters] ask questions then there will be discussion, and I did not answer so there will be no discussion,” said Shakib.
When asked who the favourites are for the upcoming series, Shakib said: “Actually, there is nothing called favourite or underdog in the T20 format as any team can beat any side on a given day. As Afghanistan are two places ahead of us in the rankings, I will say they are the favourites.”
He also opined, when asked whether Bangladesh will be looking to attack Afghanistan, that it is not necessary to play attacking cricket in every situation; it will depend on the situation which style of cricket will help the team most to be successful.
On the IPL, Shakib said that he had a good experience but there was also some dissatisfaction about his batting. Shakib scored 239 runs in 17 matches at an average of 21.72 and strike rate of 121.31, but his highest score was 35.
“It was good, maybe it could have been better but overall I am satisfied, considering the team result. Plus, I am also satisfied from a personal point of view but there is some dissatisfaction as I was unable to score big despite getting good starts in all the games,” said Shakib.
This was the first time that Shakib played all the matches of an IPL season and according to the all-rounder, his experience will help the Tigers in the upcoming series.
“The conditions are similar and all the games will be played at the same venue. Although we have not played any games in Dehradun, we think it will remain the same. Normally the pitches in India are the same everywhere and my experience will definitely help us for the upcoming series,” added Shakib.