Bangladesh cricket team all-rounder Shakib al Hasan said he is willing to bat at No.3 in one-day international (ODI) matches, but insisted he will bat lower in the lineup if required.
Batting at No.3 in ODI matches has become somewhat of a poisoned chalice for Bangladesh, as none of the tried and tested trio- Sabbir Rahman, Imrul Kayes and Liton Das, succeed in nailing down a good performance.
However, Shakib had displayed two fantastic performances against the West Indies at their home turf, with two half-centuries in a three-match ODI series last July.
Speaking to reporters, Shakib said he enjoys batting at 3, and would like to continue playing in the same spot.
“I used to hit the crease between the first ten overs, even if I batted on No.5. But now things have change, I don’t get a chance to bat before 35-40 overs if I bat at No.5,” Shakib said ahead of his game against Ireland.
“For me, I think [batting] the earlier the better. So personally speaking, I want to play at No.3. I have also expressed my desire to the coach and the captain [and it is up to them to decide],” he said.
“But, I don’t have any problem to play in any spot for the team, because I have the mentality to consider,” he told the media.
Shakib looked to be totally transformed in the recent past as he has lost quite a bit of weight since his stint in the IPL, and according to the ace all-rounder, his fitness regime had changed drastically as he is excited to perform in the World Cup.
“Sometimes in your life you need a kick, like in the movie. It has come in a way that has reawakened me,” said Shakib, adding: “It’s not a big deal. I was fit up to 2011. After that I didn’t get much chance to work on my fitness and I didn’t feel any push too. But I have got the kick now.”
“I have worked for a long time with the trainer of Sunrisers Hyderabad. I have changed my diet too. I have prepared myself for the upcoming world cup. The ambience [in IPL] also helped my preparation. I feel confident and fit,” he told reporters.
Shakib’s performance at No.3
Shakib had his share of bad luck while batting at No.3. He first batted in the No.3 position in 2014 against Zimbabwe, where he scored a duck. The second time he batted in the same position was in 2017, making 29 runs against South Africa.
For the first time he truly shined at No.3 was during the tri-nation involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe at home turf in 2018, where he scored two fifties to showcase his credentials.
He then followed with his note-worthy performance at West Indies in the ODI series, where he showed that he might be the man the team management are looking for, as a long term option for the crucial spot in the batting lineup.
In the 13 innings that Shakib played so far at the No.3 spot, he scored five half centuries scoring 492 runs, at an average of 41 runs. Meanwhile at No.4, a position he last played in 2016, he scored 959 runs from 30 innings with two fifties and two centuries at an average of 41.69 runs.
Shakib primarily played at No.5, where he scored 3,852 runs from 125 innings, with five centuries and thirty half-centuries at an average of 35.33 runs.
Shakib made a performance statement through his unbeaten 61 runs in Bangladesh’s opening game against West Indies in the tri-nation, which was his comeback match after a six-month lay-off due to injury that ruled him from the New Zealand tour.
However, some of the team management officials prefer him to bat at five in the upcoming world cup in May.
According to these officials, if he hits the crease early, it can be a pressure for the Bangladesh team. He is one of the players with the experience to bail the team out through crisis, if he plays further down the lineup.