And the way they played against South Africa yesterday, only proves that the team cannot be written off in a hurry
Not for nothing is Shakib Al Hasan the top ranked all-rounder in world cricket today. Be it batting, bowling or fielding, he is always there for his team. No wonder, much of Bangladesh’s hopes in this World Cup rest on his shoulders as he bats at the crucial No. 3 position and bowls miserly 10 overs of left-arm spin. His experience and versatility make his a key member of the side is hoping to go all the way.
During the match against South Africa at The Oval yesterday, Shakib joined an elite group of all-rounders who have scored 5000 runs and claimed 250 wickets in ODIs. In fact, he is the fastest to the milestone by far. Going into the first game of this World Cup, Shakib had already over 5,700 runs to his credit and was just a wicket away from joining the elite.
After making a stroke-filled 75, when his turn came to bowl, he cleaned up Aiden Markram with a beauty of a ball to reach the 250-wicket milestone in only his 198th game. Before him only four cricketers — Abdul Razzaq (234 matches), Jacques Kallis (296 matches), Shahid Afridi (273 matches) and Sanath Jayasuriya (304 matches) — had achieved the ‘double.’
Achieving the feat 36 ODI matches quicker than the next best just goes to show how much of an influence Shakib has had on the rise of Bangladesh cricket. No one can consider them push-overs anymore. And the way they played against South Africa yesterday, only proves that the team cannot be written off in a hurry.