Bangladesh Test captain Shakib Al Hasan was overjoyed after the Tigers defeated West Indies inside three days in the second Test at Mirpur to seal a 2-0 series whitewash, speaking on a number of topics ranging from Mehedi Hasan Miraz's heroic bowling effort, what it felt like to be on the positive end of a whitewash and the future. The excerpts of his post-match press conference are below:
“Now there are home and away advantage that come into account. They could take the home advantage back then and so did we. We had a lot to prove after losing in that manner [poorly]. At least in our home we could do it [winning the series]. I would actually like to thank everyone for this, starting from the coaching staff and everyone else who believed [in us] even before the series [the West Indies series] started. To be honest, I was very demanding in this series. I expected a lot from everyone. Alhamdulillah, everyone tried their level best. Some might be successful and some might not. Everyone had the belief in them and everyone wanted to contribute for the team. Everyone always wants to contribute but the urge to deliver this time was different and was visible.
ON WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO BE ON THE POSITIVE END OF A TEST WHITEWASH:
“We played over 100 Test matches and for the first time we could do something like this. Of course it is a big achievement for us….we have played about 100 Test matches in like 18 years and this is the first time we did something like this. We also played against small teams within this time but we could not anything like this. So I think this is a very big achievement for us. We did not whitewash any higher ranked team than us in our home condition before. Considering everything, this series was a series of many achievements for us.
REGARDING THE DEFEAT AGAINST WINDIES IN JULY-AUGUST:
“Yes, because I think that all the players who played in that series in West Indies, none of us actually expected that type of performance in the series. We conducted a team meeting after the defeat and then came back strongly in the one day and T20 matches. As we could not do well in the Test format, we had a chance in home conditions to prove ourselves. For that reason we wanted to do something, so that people can forget or understand the fact that they [the West Indies] took the home advantage and we did as much as we could in our home condition.
MEHEDI HASAN MIRAZ'S BOWLING EFFORT:
“I think he bowled brilliantly today [Third day]. In fact he has been bowling well from yesterday. I think if he keeps everything simple in his head and if he plans simply than he can bowl even better. Since yesterday we had only one plan and that is to keep on hitting the stumps and keep bowling without conceding runs. We will see later what happens. I think these simple plans are very crucial. Sometimes we become too attacking. After getting wickets we kind of get a feeling that we can get a wicket in every ball. If we can keep that urge and desire in control then we can bowl even better as bowling partners. But he [Miraz] bowled brilliantly. His bowling in the first innings was very crucial. It was a huge advantage for us as we scored 500 runs. We never thought that we could bundle them out for such a low score. We had that believe due to his bowling. His seven wickets in the first innings actually set the fate of the game.
ABOUT THE UPCOMING TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND:
“It will obviously be difficult in New Zealand. It will be a different challenge for us. All the times we travelled to New Zealand in recent past we could not even draw a single match over there let alone winning one. It did not happen in any format. A big challenge is waiting for us. We will try to do something worth remembering or at least have a good memory because till now we do not have a good one. It will be a big take-away for us even if we manage to draw one match. However, we will try to win every match. But if we think about reality then it can be said that we have a tough challenge waiting. We need to be in good condition, especially our batting. Our fast bowlers also need to be in very good condition. Only then we can hope to do something good.
FEAR BEFORE THE START OF TEST SERIES:
“To speak the truth, I did not want to play the first Test. I played only because of the coach. I would have never played. Every time I was asked I said I cannot play because I did not have that believe. If you have seen my bowling you could see that I bowled spells of 3-4 overs. My physical condition was not like that. But he [coach] said that you can get fit by playing the match. I think I am the only player in this world who gets fit by playing matches. But one good thing is that the contribution I was able to make, specially giving break through with the new ball was very important. Obviously every one played very well but in my opinion those contributions were vital to win the series.
ON THE UPCOMING ODI SERIES:
“I think the One day matches will be very tough. We need to keep preparing the way we did [for tests]. Even though we are playing well in one day matches but we will be playing three ODIs against a very good opposition. So we need to play our best cricket if we want to win.
SHIMRON HETMYER'S PERFORMANCE:
“It will be good for them as he is in form. As it is a different format, all the things will be different. Obviously the [West Indies] coach and captain will plan things differently.
WILL THE FOUR-MAN SPIN FORMULA CONTINUE?
“It was ideal for us to build such a team keeping in mind their strengths and our weaknesses. That is what we tried to do.
BATSMEN RETURNING TO SCORING WAYS:
“Batsmen did score run when they played in good [batting] pitches. It is not like that we did not [score runs]. Against Sri Lanka in Chattogram, both the teams scored plenty of runs. Since then the types of pitches we played in both at home or in the West Indies were tough wickets. No side could score 500 runs. Not only Bangladesh but the opponent also could not score. It is not right to always blame the batsmen. Now we did what was required for the team to win and every one tried to work by keeping faith in a plan. Earlier we used to make a flat wicket and hope to score 500 runs to try and draw a match. Now we don’t do that. Now we want to win every match be it in foreign conditions or at home. It is proof of the change in our mentality that our cricket has come so far.