180-plus a must: Shakib
Bangladesh's premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan did not speak to the press since his arrival in New Zealand. His bat also did not talk that much except for a fifty in the three ODIs.
He bowled well in patches but he was a bit disappointing in the last ODI at the Saxton Oval. He is Bangladesh's lone globe-trotter when it comes to the shortest format of the game. So, when he spoke to reporters before the start of the T20 leg of Tigers' long tour of New Zealand, he was pragmatic about the prospect of his team.
His first observation was that if Bangladesh are to win games in different conditions they would have to score close to 200.
“If we bat first we will have to post a big total. We have to defend at least 180 to 190 maybe but it will depend on the weather and the wicket. In the T20 tournament now going on here this is the average total. So our effort will be to contain them below this kind of total and score something like that if we bat first,” said Shakib while referring to the ongoing McDonald's Super Smash League.
“We have seen a few T20 games and almost all are very high scoring. Even 200 plus runs are chased here. The one-day wicket was very good here. We could not do well in the ODIs and if we get this kind of wicket, which is a possibility, then it will be a high-scoring game,” he added.
To attain that goal he said: “The important thing in the shorter version of the game is that you can't lose the momentum. If we get the momentum we need to make sure we keep on going with that.”
He also said that power-hitting is not necessary to score big on this kind of wicket.
“We don't need the firepower considering the grounds in New Zealand. These are not big grounds. The power we have, I think it will be no problem to clear the boundary because the boundaries here are not big. What we need is to play big innings whenever we get the opportunity,” observed Shakib.
Reflecting on the ODI series he said that they had a big opportunity in the context of the wicket they had played on and the chances they created.
“Obviously, it was a big opportunity lost for us. This is something negative but from that experience the positive thing is that we have realised that we have got that capability of winning in these conditions. So if that belief is with us I think it will help us in our next game,” the champion Bangladesh all-rounder said.
He was also against the popular sentiment of difficult conditions coming into play.
“We reached Australia early and I think we are not in a state to complain about the conditions. I think we have got the best weather compared to our previous visits. We could not perform to the best of our ability and this is where we will have to do well,” added a forceful Bangladesh vice-captain.
Exciting New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson will return from a back injury in the T20Is and when a reporter tried to highlight his importance, Shakib said: “Not only him, the whole New Zealand team is a very good T20 side. They have a good batting line-up and they have some very good batsmen. So we have to be at our best if we are to compete against them.”