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ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: Capable of countering Aussie challenge, says Bangladesh's Shakib

Shakib says Bangladesh remain undaunted by the challenge ahead

By TT Bureau in Calcutta
  • Published 19.06.19, 4:39 AM
  • Updated 19.06.19, 4:39 AM
  • 2 mins read
Shakib-al Hasan Picture by AP

Fresh from his match-winning 124 not out that led Bangladesh to a splendid seven-wicket win against the West Indies on Monday, Shakib-al Hasan is ready to take on the Aussies.

Australia are unlikely to mess things up with the ball like the Windies did, but Shakib says Bangladesh remain undaunted by the challenge ahead.

“We’ve faced some of the best fast bowlers in the last four matches. Every team has at least two bowlers who bowl at 140kph or more and we’ve coped well, so we’re not worried about that.

“We are a skilled team and we are capable of counter those challenges, which includes Australia too,” Shakib said at the post-match media conference on Monday.

Bangladesh face Australia at Trent Bridge this Thursday.

Of Bangladesh’s bowlers, Shakib said: “Both of our new-ball bowlers bowled brilliantly and we didn’t give them (West Indies) balls to hit.

“We might not have the pace of England or Australia, but all our bowlers certainly have the skills.”

Shakib didn’t forget to mention the recalled Liton Das, who hit 94 not out off 69 balls in his first World Cup innings. The pair shared an unbeaten 189-run stand, which was the second highest fourth-wicket stand in World Cup history.

“I told Liton that if you stay at the wicket, then we can finish this game with three wickets down. And after 10 or 15 balls, he was a treat to watch.

“I enjoyed his batting from the non-striker’s end and he never put me under any pressure. And the way he handled the pressure was brilliant,” Shakib emphasised.

Liton too thanked Shakib for being the guiding influence that played a big role in helping him play a knock of such significance. Like that of Shakib, Liton’s contribution was also important as he came in after Bangladesh had lost two quick wickets, losing a bit of momentum.

The unbroken 189-run partnership between Shakib and him was made all the more remarkable by the fact that Liton is only 24 and making his first 50-over World Cup appearance.

But with the world’s leading ODI all-rounder alongside him, Liton exuded confidence and made sure to carry his bat.

“I was a bit nervous as this was my first match in the World Cup,” he was quoted as saying by ICC media. “The first 15 balls I faced were short and I was a bit nervous facing them.

“But Shakib told me: ‘If you stay in for five or six overs on this wicket, then it’ll be easy. The wicket is good, so believe in yourself’.

“It was a pleasure to bat with Shakib and finish the game with him. It was a good innings. It was certainly my pleasure to bat alongside him.”