Laid back Shakib amidst ‘serious’ Tigers
Shakib Al Hasan was allowed a rare day of rest yesterday as he remained absent from Tigers' first practice session for the Test against Ireland but while he turned up for the practice session today from the beginning, there was no real activity from Tigers' skipper.
Shakib has a habit of performing with little to no practice. The veteran knows exactly what he needs to work on to mentally prepare for a challenge and doesn't need hours of net sessions to pinpoint the issues that he needs to work upon.
With Bangladesh however returning to Test format after about three months, the ace all-rounder spent the day looking at the wicket and enjoying light-hearted moments with teammates in the indoor nets and dressing room. There was no activity with the bat or the ball. The skipper also did not attend press briefing a day before the match and all-rounder Mehedi Miraz briefed the media on Monday.
It was also a bit surprising to see Bangladesh batters such as Tamim Iqbal, Najmul Hossain and Liton Das undergoing range-hitting drills before the one-off Test against Ireland although their indoor nets session was just the usual.
Miraz implied that the Tigers will be turning up a gear in Tests as well, following aggressive cricket in the white-ball formats.
While Shakib may go through quiet periods without practice, as a team, the transition to Test mentality will be required. The team were serious despite Ireland's unfamiliarity to the Test circuit.
"We are all very serious. When playing a match, you won't see that we are serious against India and less focused against Ireland. Focus stays the same.
"Against smaller team, I feel that you need more focus since at the back of the mind you are thinking of winning or losing and you urge yourself to do well," Miraz said.
Given the intensity of Shakib's trainings sessions when he is fully indulged, he will be allowed to operate on his own tempo during quiet sessions. It remains to be seen whether the rest can catch up to Test mode tempo against Ireland looking keen on a springing a surprise.