World Cup: We will give best shot against India, says Bangladesh’s Shakib

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has conceded that its next World Cup match against two-time champion India will be a stiff test but insisted that his team was ready for the challenge.

Bangladesh thumped Afghanistan by 62 runs in Southampton Monday to keep its hopes of reaching the World Cup 2019 semi-final alive. Some of its big names, including Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, have been playing inspired cricket in the tournament but Bangladesh needs to win its remaining matches to do what looked improbable a week ago.

Bangladesh faces India 2 July at Edgbaston and then takes on Asian rival Pakistan at Lord’s 5 July.

Having sealed 7 points from as many matches to move to the 5th spot on the points table, Bangladesh has a 6-day break before its big match against India.

Speaking to the press after Bangladesh’s big win over Afghanistan, Man of the Match Shakib Al Hasan said: “We have a very important game coming against India. They are a top side, one of the title contenders. It’s not going to be easy but having said that we’ll give our best shot.”

File photo of Shakib

“They got world-class players who can win matches single-handedly. We have to be at our best. I believe as a team, we are capable enough.”

Shakib Al Hasan’s fine form has been one of the major reasons for Bangladesh’s impressive performances in the World Cup. The top-ranked all-rounder has become the first player to score 400 runs and pick up 10 wickets in a single edition of the quadrennial cricket tournament.

On Monday, Shakib emulated former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh’s feat by becoming only the second player to score a fifty and pick up 5 wickets in a World Cup match.

Shakib’s return to form, especially with the ball, gives Bangladesh a big boost for the upcoming matches against India and Pakistan.

Former India cricketer and the current spin coach of Bangladesh cricket team, Sunil Joshi, expressed Mashrafe Mortaza’s men can deal with the spin threat of India. He also added that Bangladesh will get its plans right before the Edgbaston clash against Virat Kohli’s men.

“We all know they play spin well but so do we,” Joshi said.

“We have shown in the white ball formats here and before this that we are a good side. We won in Ireland, we have beaten West Indies home and away and come close to beating India three times in the past three years. I have seen India very closely when we have played them. We know where to bowl to them.”

Agency