Sat, 13 April 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Shakib's inclusion brings calmness into the group: Pothas

Update : 29 Mar 2024, 19:05

Assistant coach Nic Pothas who stood as the head coach of Bangladesh for the second Test against Sri Lanka in absence of Chandika Hathurusingha believes Shakib Al Hasan's inclusion brought a calmness in the dressing room after a disastrous performance in the first game, which Bangladesh lost by 328 runs.

According to him, Shakib's presence instilled a confidence in the group which is essential ahead of the crucial Test as Bangladesh is eyeing to draw the two-match Test series.

Bangladesh face off Sri Lanka in the series-deciding second Test tomorrow (Saturday) at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

"When Shakib comes into the group, it brings calmness," Pothas said in Chattogram today after Bangladesh's practice session.

"You know, it also supplies Shanto with an extra person he can get advice from. He is a very, very experienced person on the field. He just brings calmness. He is a world-class cricketer," he added.

Emboldened by the inclusion of Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh, which failed to get past 200 runs in both of the innings of the first match, is upbeat to win the second and final Test.

"I think any team that has Shakib in it is very fortunate. We welcome him back. It is always great to have him in the change room," Pothas said.

"His energy is very infectious. He has a lot of experience for the guys to learn from and whenever Shakib is back, he's a giver. So we really enjoy having him around the group," he said.

Shakib has been out of the national team since November at the Cricket World Cup in India. He hit 82 and took two wickets to beat Sri Lanka in the World Cup in his last match. But he broke his left index finger, and a vision problem was revealed.

He has been playing for the last two months in the Bangladesh and Dhaka Premier Leagues with success. Shakib's last test was in April 2023 against Ireland in Mirpur.

Citing Shakib as world class cricketer, Pothas said, the all-rounder has the ability to cope with the condition, no matter how long he was absent from International cricket.

"It looks like he has lost weight. He's been training. He has had a good BPL. He's had a good start to the Dhaka Premier League. He's happy and that's the only place we want Shakib. We want him happy." he remarked.

"He's super professional. He knows what he's done and what he hasn't done. He will adapt to the conditions. That's why he's world class."

Last of Shakib's five centuries came in 2017 against Sri Lanka, which was Bangladesh's 100th test. Courtesy to Shakib's century, Bangladesh won the test to make the occasion memorable but that remained the side's only test victory against Sri Lanka in 25 meetings.

Bangladesh in fact has never won a test against Sri Lanka at home despite playing 11 times.

Dhananjaya de Silva, who became first Sri Lankan captain to hit centuries in both innings of a test during the first test against Bangladesh was unfazed by Shakib's return as he is eyeing to have a winning end to the series.

"Why should I talk about him? He's not in my team," he said. "Rather I am interested to talk about my team. We won the first Test and we want to keep that consistency in the second Test too," he said.



More on this topic

More on this topic