2019 World Cup: Having ‘got the kick’, Shakib Al Hasan eyes No 3 slot for Bangladesh
Shakib Al Hasan hopes to bat at No 3 for Bangladesh at the World Cup. © AFP

Fresh from an unbeaten 61 off 61 balls to help Bangladesh beat West Indies by eight wickets on Wednesday during the Ireland tri-series in Dublin, the allrounder Shakib Al Hasan has stated his preference to bat at No 3 in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.

In his first match for Bangladesh since December 2018, Shakib was promoted to No 3 and hit three fours and two sixes in his run-a-ball innings, while featuring in partnerships of 52 with Tamim Iqbal (80) and 68 with Mushfiqur Rahim (32*).

Having missed the New Zealand tour on account of surgery, Shakib joined Bangladesh’s ODI squad after spending time with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, and made 54 in last week’s one-day warm-up versus Ireland A.

This was his 13th ODI innings batting at No 3, and while he was hopeful of getting more chances at that spot during the World Cup, Shakib said he was ready to do whatever suits Bangladesh’s best interests.

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“There was a time when I had to come on to the crease before first 10 overs even if I batted on number five. But now things have changed, I don’t get a chance to bat before 35-40 overs if I bat at number five position,” he said after the win over West Indies. “For me I think [batting] the earlier the better. So personally speaking I want to play on number three. I have also expressed my desire to the coach and the captain, but I don’t have any problem to play anywhere for the team.”

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In 196 ODIs, Shakib has previously batted at one-down just 12 times while scoring four fifties, with a highest score of 97. With Wednesday’s 61* added, he now averages 41 from No 3 at a strike-rate of 80.78.

The majority of Shakib’s ODI career has been spent batting in the middle order. From the No 5 spot, he has scored 3852 of his total 5638 ODI runs at an average of 35.33.

Back playing for Bangladesh after nearly five months, Shakib said that the time spent recovering from surgery had rejuvenated him.

“Sometimes in your life, you need a kick, like in the movie. I have got the kick, I won’t say how,” he said. “That’s a secret. It has come in a way that has awakened me.

“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.”

Bangladesh open their World Cup campaign on June 2 against South Africa at The Oval.