Shakib's unusual slump
One does not generally fret over Shakib Al Hasan's performance. The all-rounder's consistency over the years has been quite brilliant. It is almost a given that the left-hander will contribute for his side one way or the other.
When he fails with the bat, he ensures that he bowls a tidy spell. When he gets whacked, he often tends to make up with an ice-cool knock that generally takes Bangladesh home. And even if neither of them works out, he makes his presence felt on the field.
Let's not forget the two crucial wickets that he was involved in during Bangladesh's World Cup encounter against England. He took a well-judged running catch at the boundary and then inflicted a run-out. These were two world-class acts in a single game.
So Shakib's performance in a game is generally not a cause for concern. As skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza put it after the India game: "Shakib is our best player. Let's not forget that."
However, despite his enormous reputation, his recent performances may worry even the most ardent of his supporters.
Statistically, he has seen a fall in his numbers both in batting and bowling which is uncharacteristic of a player of his calibre. For instance, in his last 10 T20s, all of which he played this year, he has averaged just 14.7 with the bat. That is a number that could have been lower had he not hit that lone half-century in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).
He has played five T20 internationals in 2016 so far and his economy rate is already above eight, his highest number in a calendar year so far. He has not yet ended a year with an economy rate above 8 in his career. In addition, he recently recorded his most expensive bowling figures, none for 45 against Zimbabwe in January. Soon after that, he put in a similar performance in the PSL where he leaked 43 runs in a match against the Quetta Gladiators.
Amid all this, the last thing that Shakib needed was the misfortune he received during the game against India. He was on the receiving end of a rocket-like hit from Rohit Sharma at point -- a position he generally does not field in. There were a couple of catches that he almost got hold of at the edge of the boundary and then was run-out for three after the exchange. It was no doubt a tough night.
There's plenty of talent in this Bangladeshi team. But if Bangladesh really want to excel in the Asia Cup and the ICC World Twenty20, they will need the services of their most experienced T20 player and desperately hope that the left-hander emerges from this rare slump.