We also have Shakib, says Sriram analogising India’s Pandya advantage
Bangladesh cricket team's newly hired technical consultant, Sridharan Sriram, heaped praises on the Bangladesh Test and T20I captain Shakib Al Hasan.
Someone like Sriram had followed and analysed Shakib's game more than many, having been involved in the coaching circuit since 2015 with Australia and in the Indian Premier League with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Meanwhile, Shakib, being one of the leading all-rounders in the limited-over formats, has rarely failed to live up to his reputations in the field. And after becoming part of the Tigers think-tank and watching the new Bangladesh T20 skipper in action off-the-field and during preparation, the Indian coach's impression of the cricketer has elevated further.
"He is a very intelligent cricketer. I think the captain, Shakib, has been fantastic in laying down his expectations. He is very modern in the way he thinks about the T20 game, which I think is exceptional for Bangladesh," Sriram told reporters in the official press conference today, ahead of Bangladesh's Asia Cup opener against Afghanistan on Tuesday.
After Hardik Pandya's all-round show led India to victory against their arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday, the impact of genuine all-rounders has been one of the buzzing topics. As far as Sriram is concerned, Bangladesh have the edge with the luxury of possessing a champion all-rounder, like Shakib, in their ranks.
"There is always a place for all-rounders in T20 because if someone can bowl four overs and can bat at five or six and can hit sixes that is invaluable, but Hardik Pandya and Ben Stokes come very rarely.
"Somewhere I read India plays with 12 players when Hardik is around. We also have Shakib who bowls four overs and bat and definitely that is an advantage," said the 46-year-old.
Sriram brought forth the factors – such as global exposure and the ability to self-improve -- which set Shakib apart from the rest.
"People like Shakib have been very good because they have been consistent over a long period of time and the only secret is that they are consistently evolving their game and being able to improve and outwit the batsman or the bowlers. He has done that and credit to him.
"One main difference between Shakib and other players in the team is the amount of exposure. The different leagues he has played in and the different conditions he has played in. He is someone who has played the IPL and all over the world for so many years," opined Sriram, who added that Shakib's wealth of knowledge from playing plenty of competitive games would only benefit the aspiring stars of Bangladesh cricket.
"That's one major difference with the exposure he has got with exposure to the outside world and that's something we have to focus on to give as much exposure to local Bangladesh players so that they learn quicker," said Sriram.