Ranatunga’s compliment is very encouraging – Shakib | Daily News

Ranatunga’s compliment is very encouraging – Shakib

Shakib Al Hasan celebrates a Sri Lankan wicket in the second T20I at the R Premadasa Stadium. AFP
Shakib Al Hasan celebrates a Sri Lankan wicket in the second T20I at the R Premadasa Stadium. AFP

Bangladesh’s leading all-rounder and former Shakib Al Hasan has described the recently concluded tour of Sri Lanka as ‘one of the best’ because it was played overseas.

“To do well in Sri Lanka is rare. We drew in all three formats, which is a big thing for us. It is one of our best series, since this is an away tour,” said Shakib who was named Man of the Match at the end of the second T20I played at the R Premadasa Stadium on Thursday which Bangladesh won by 45 runs.

“We played with more freedom in the second T20, compared to the first game. I think it is a positive sign. We have to play like this in T20s. We made huge improvements in the Test series, after losing the first game.

“In ODIs, we showed the consistency of the last couple of years. We didn’t bat well in the third ODI, but overall we had a mindset change in Tests and T20s. We don’t often win like this abroad,” he said.

“The win was important because we hadn’t won the last eight games. The Asia Cup was our last good tournament. It was a big challenge for us in this game, after losing the first game. This is a satisfying win.”

Shakib played a pivotal role in Bangladesh’s victory top scoring with a fluent 38 off 31 balls and capturing three crucial wickets for 24 runs with his left-arm spin.

“Contributing for the team is always satisfying. Winning gives you confidence. My job is to contribute with ball and bat,” said Shakib. “I try my best in all games. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t; how much effort I am putting in the ground that is important for me, and that’s what I am doing for the last few months.”

Thursday’s win was special for Bangladesh as it gave them an opportunity to give a memorable send-off to their captain Mashrafe Mortaza who quit from T20 cricket.

“It was important to send off Mashrafe with a win, but what was more important was to represent Bangladesh. I think what you saw out there was an expression of that pride,” said Shakib.

“Mash is a special figure in the dressing room. Naturally everyone will miss him. We need support on and off the field, and there’s no one more helpful than him. Nobody can play forever, so I wish him all the very best in life. I would want him to continue in the ODI team for a long time, and take Bangladesh cricket forward,” he said.

Bangladesh’s rise especially in ODI cricket has them thinking on the lines of winning the next World Cup in England in 2019. Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga has predicted that Bangladesh would win it in 2023 when it is held in the subcontinent.

“I think we have a very good chance in 2019 as well,” said Shakib. “The way we are improving, if we keep it up, I think we will have a very good chance. We lost to India in the 2015 World Cup. They played better than us in that game. Overall, if you look at our graph, we are doing well.

“We have some experienced and young players, who are performing really well. We are going in the right direction. I would fancy our team would do well in the 2019 World Cup. Arjuna’s comment is a great compliment for us. It will always encourage us to do well.” 



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