Steve Rhodes, the Bangladesh head coach, appreciated Shakib Al Hasan’s last-minute decision to play the first Test against the Windies despite limited practice time in the lead up to the Test match, reports Cricbuzz.
While mentioning that the all-rounder wasn’t in the best frame of mind while taking the field, Rhodes said he did not let that affect his captaincy as Bangladesh took a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series.
Shakib, who returned home midway through the Asia Cup after a flare up of his long-standing finger injury and subsequently missed the series against Zimbabwe, had revealed before the Chittagong Test against the Windies that he wasn’t fully confident of featuring in the game. He did, however, lead the team in their 64-run victory during the course of which he also surpassed Ian Botham as the fastest to 3000 runs and 200 wickets.
“I think the one thing to talk about the last Test which is really important for me is that I want to pay tribute to Shakib,” Rhodes told reporters on Sunday (November 25). “That is an amazing effort that he did (play the game). He only had two or three hits in the net, you can see he is not quite as physically as well as he could be. He was brilliant on the field as captain. And yet mentally he is not quite right. To me, it was an amazing effort. He did it for, again Bangladesh. He did it for the whole nation. He wanted to beat the Windies. He is an important part of our team because he is the captain.”
Although Shakib wasn’t a major contributor with the bat in the opening game – registering scores of 34 and 1 – he managed to pick up five wickets, four of which were top order batsmen. Acknowledging his contributions as a player, Rhodes said Shakib did a good job as a captain and that he should be in a better space heading into the second Test.
“He is a great tactician and he played his part and he will be better for running going into the next Test match. He maybe a little bit more ready. He has had a little bit of time in the middle. He has had some overs under his belt. He has got back in the spring of using his brain for captaincy. So for him to play, I think we shouldn’t forget that.
It was an amazing effort. Because he could’ve easily not played, and said look I’m not ready.
But he did play and that’s good to see,” Rhodes said.
Meanwhile, Rhodes defended Bangladesh’s tactics of using a spin-friendly track in Chittagong to take an early lead in the series.
All the 20 wickets that the Windies lost were to spin, while the visiting spinners also managed to pick up 14 of the 20 Bangladesh wickets to fall.
“Look, I think in the sub-continent, in places like Pakistan, in Sri Lanka, in India, in Bangladesh, you have come to expect turning wickets. So, it’s no surprise. There’s a Test match going on in Colombo at the moment, with Sri Lanka and England, that’s a turning wicket and I think the teams that come over to the sub-continent plan for those sort of wickets,” said Rhodes.
“It’s just a different type of cricket. I’ll take you back to the Antigua Test match where we played on very alien conditions. Green, bouncy, swinging ball, Dukes ball nipped around a lot and it was very different. But I think that’s the beauty of playing all around the world. There are lots of different ways to play this wonderful game and coming to Bangladesh and playing on spinning wickets it made for some intriguing cricket,” Rhodes added.