West Indies in Bangladesh 2012-13

Shakib's bowling workload a worry

Shakib Al Hasan is being over-bowled every season, and is going into another with a heavy load staring him down as he leads a group of inconsistent fast bowlers and a very inexperienced spin attack

Mohammad Isam in Mirpur

November 12, 2012

Comments: 26 | Text size: A | A

Shakib Al Hasan at a practice session, World Twenty20, Kandy, September 19, 2012
It is only Shakib Al Hasan who can offer Bangladesh economy, wickets and safety in a Test match © Associated Press
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Shakib Al Hasan is only four away from 100 Test wickets. The all-rounder will become the second Bangladeshi bowler to reach the milestone after Mohammad Rafique, the former left-arm spinner from whom he took over the mantle of the team's leading bowler four years ago. But the responsibility also means Shakib is being over-bowled every passing season, and is going into another with a heavy load staring him down as he leads a group of inconsistent and yet to be proven fast bowlers and a very inexperienced spin attack.

Shakib's workload is a matter of concern for the team management, especially because his predominant skill is batting. He has been successful managing both but before the World Twenty20 in September, he complained of knee problems and even skipped the Sri Lanka Premier League due to a niggle. He has a surgery planned for later this year, but given his commitments and the domestic season, it could be rescheduled to next year.

Ever since Rafique's retirement in 2008, Shakib has been given the task of not just bowling economical spells but making breakthroughs, separating partnerships and even cutting out the runs by bowling over the wicket, into the rough. He has racked up impressive figures too, picking up nine five-fors in his short career.

Interim coach Shane Jurgensen, who was the team's bowling coach until Richard Pybus' resignation last month, has been told by Shakib that he enjoys bowling in Tests but Jurgensen wants the all-rounder to put more of his efforts in his preferred suit.

"He is very happy he'll be bowling in a Test rather than just four overs," Jurgensen told ESPNcricinfo. "His prime objective in Twenty20s has been to contain the batsman so he's really excited to be bowling in the longer format.

"At the same time, we have to consider his workload. He bats for us at No. 5 and given his talent, we want him to score double-hundreds, for instance. He has the potential to score big runs so we have to keep an eye on how much he bowls."

How much has he bowled since Rafique's retirement? Shakib has delivered a mind-boggling 513.1 more overs than any Bangladesh bowler in all international formats. He brings in the wickets too, 93 in Tests since Rafique left, far ahead of Bangladesh's next best effort, 26, from Shahadat Hossain.

This season Shakib will be hoping the likes of Elias Sunny and Sohag Gazi reduce some of his load, but just like last season when Shakib did the bulk of the work and let Sunny get acquainted with the pressures of Test cricket, it could still be the same situation. The quicks too are unlikely to be asked to bowl a lot unless they find the Mirpur and Khulna wickets friendly enough.

Jurgensen, however, was happy to see some of the pace bowlers hit the straps in the first-class competition though Rubel Hossain is still going to need more time before he could be asked for long spells. "I am happy with how much they've bowled so far. Shahadat [Hossain] and [Abul Hasan] Raju have been bowling regularly after Eid while Rubel [Hossain] has not, but he's fit to be bowling.

"I am also pleased with the combination we've got, but I am sad for Nazmul [Hossain] missing out. We wanted to make sure we have pace in our attack."

Shakib, though, remains Mushfiqur Rahim's go-to bowler, not because of their friendship since school days or for the mere fact that they have combined the best off Shakib's bowling. But mainly because it is only Shakib who can offer economy, wickets and safety in a Test match.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's correspondent in Bangladesh

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 6:24 GMT)

Dear The-Ashes, dont worry dude. Shakib will never be close to Kallis. If he plays for another 12 years, it will be hardly 30 more test. Your Kallis will remain unharmed. You can sleep in peace.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 5:54 GMT)

shakib al hassan is no doubt the best ever bowler and batsman bangladesh have produced he has to continue performing in the same fashion but the other guys like tamim mushfique or bowlers like other spinner and mushrafe should also stand and put some thing regularly then bangla desh can b a decent team may chip in winning in tests one day and t20s every now and then .................... can beat some of the weaker nations in their home soil ............

Posted by ibbani on (November 13, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

another thrashing with 3-0 on crds for BD. WIset to make their best scores and wicket hauls.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 23:44 GMT)

Shakib doesn't need to prove anyone his quality because he already did at the World T20 scoring 84 at a strike rate of more than 150 against one of the best bowling attacks in World Cricket. Its Bangladesh that needs to perform. I agree with Ashes that no one including Shakib is anywhere near Kallis not even an inch. Bangladesh fans are not silly they're just passionate and there's nothing wrong with that.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 22:17 GMT)

One day Sakib will be Muralitharan. He will reach the milestone of washim or mcgrath

Posted by sapnil2000 on (November 12, 2012, 22:00 GMT)

i am an indian fan and i think india dont have any player in shakib's caliber. wish we had one shakib, we could have been a good team. bangladesh dont take kohli, tendu and dhoni but exchange any player from our team with great shakib.

Posted by riverbaby11 on (November 12, 2012, 21:31 GMT)

Bangladesh needs a better coach ; you don't need Shakib to score double hundreds . You just need a couple of other guys to score 40's consistently. He is an all rounder so he needs to do both ...try and coach the other players on the team ...

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 15:30 GMT)

I don't quite agree with Isam on his delusion that Shakib is the only spinning cavalry. There are other spinners that replenishes the cavalry as well! Hope our seamers would start being consistent and incisive in their bowling as well.

Posted by emon-28-78 on (November 12, 2012, 15:20 GMT)

@ Ashes.Shakib is the best allrounder in the world now.This new generation of cricket Shakib and Shane Watson is the best.Shakib can bat and bowl very well.But he isn't not a such big hitter.Shane watson is a very big hard hitter batsman.So,that's why,he is famous.But he isn't too good than shakib at bowling.Everyone admires watson because of his hard hitting.Ashes said that Shakib hasn't played a test against Australia.It's not the fault of shakib.What is the shame in it?You know that Bangladesh plays 5-6 test matches in a year.And Kallis is a true champion allrounder.Why is the difference between Shakib and Kallis?Kallis is a great player.He is a lot of experinence than shakib and watson.But he is not a new generation player.Shakib is just 26 and kallis is 36.Shakib has played just 126 ODIS and Kallis has played 350 up.But this new generation Watson and Shakib is the best,not kallis.@Ashes,u just want to insult shakib,sorry to say that.Shakib is in the great form for 2-3 years.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 14:01 GMT)

Inshallah he will do it again as we all are praying for him.

Posted by TAPOREE on (November 12, 2012, 13:52 GMT)

All rounders performing with ball and bat consistently is probably a possibility in shorter formats (ODI's and T20) but at test level if you expect an All-rounder to score centuries and take wickets every time he takes the field, it is just a fool's dream. Let see what were the roles of great all-rounders. Kallis, Sobers, Watson were/are playing as batsmen and required to bowl only if needed. They were/are required to score runs. Imran, Botham, Akram, Vettori, were playing as bowlers and their main Job was to take wickets. As batsmen they were required only during dire situations. One thing was clear, all great all rounders were/are aware of their main role (batting all rounder / bowling all rounder). What should be the role of Shakib in the upcoming series (and in future) has to be decided now. Do BD team management wants Shakib a bowler or Shakib a batsman? This decision will not only make life much easier for Shakib but in the long run it will be beneficial to the team also.

Posted by The_Ashes on (November 12, 2012, 12:23 GMT)

Kallis is miles better overall than Shakib considering he has been in the game for over 15 years but what Shakib has achieved so far in his short test career, is just as impressive what Kallis has achieved in his first 26 tests according to these figure also take into account Kallis plays for South Africa so his record doesn't include against South Africa whereas Shakib plays for a weaker team meaning his record includes South Africa. So love him or hate him his record backs that up anyway he has potential :P

Posted by The_Ashes on (November 12, 2012, 12:16 GMT)

Another interesting stat which involves Kallis but I say again Shakib is nowhere near Kallis not even close but if you take the first 26 test matches of Kallis and compare it to Shakib so far 26 you'd be surprised just how close Shakib is to Kallis batting during that same period and how far ahead he is with bowling.

Batting first 26 test matches of test career Kallis - scored 1482 runs at 40.05 a long way of his overall figure of 57, scoring 4 hundreds in that time where in comparison with Shakib less than Kallis but slightly 26 test matches scored 1630 runs at more runs but averages a touch slower at 34.68 scoring 2 hundreds that time.

Bowling first 26 test matches of test career Kallis huge difference - taken 43 wickets at slightly better average of 28.88 with best figure of 5/90 one five wicket haul where in comparison with Shakib taken 96 wickets averaging 31.36 with best figure of 7/36 in that period so has done far better than Kallis bowling wise.

Posted by The_Ashes on (November 12, 2012, 11:16 GMT)

So far in his 26 match short test career, bowling wise, he has taken nine five wicket hauls against West Indies, New Zealand, England, South Africa, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka which is 7 of the 9 teams so far. Australia he hasn't because he hasn't even played a test match against them as of yet and Zimbabwe he's only faced once so far but hopefully early next year.

So far in his 26 match test career, batting wise, he has so far not been as good as his bowling so far but scored two test match hundreds against New Zealand and Pakistan BUT in 2009 in the last test match against West Indies where Bangladesh have won, Shakib was unbeaten on 96* so unlucky for him personally plus he almost got hundreds against both England and Sri Lanka only to be 4 runs short on 96 so could've quite easily been five hundreds in just 26 tests but the point is he has the ability to do it but like the article mentions, too much bowling stops him from achieving many more runs.

Posted by The_Ashes on (November 12, 2012, 11:07 GMT)

Shakib is underrated simply because he plays for a weaker team and unfortunately not respected not by some fans but also some Cricketing experts who use to be players and coaches (won't name them). The fact is he is ranked as one of the best all-rounders in World Cricket. He's nowhere near Kallis not even close but other than him, I don't think anyone apart from Shane Watson can match him today. Shame he doesn't play nowhere near enough tests otherwise he could quite easily be the first person in history one day that is to score a test century against every full member nation and a 5 wicket haul against every full member nation in my opinion would've been some feat.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 10:26 GMT)

Also he's carrying a minor injury but could be potential forget about the events coming up after the West Indies series, he needs this operation as soon as possible otherwise he could be out for a long time which can be disastrous for the team.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 10:25 GMT)

That's why its important he bats at 5 so he can get a decent break when the Bangladesh team are batting but the problem is the top order do not stay in the crease long enough and play bad shots. If inexperience bowling is a major issue then Enamul Haque, Abdur and even Sunny should be in the team so Shakib doesn't need to bowl as much. Our fast bowlers do not even try as hard to get breakthroughs which is probably why Shakib as a spinner has to bowl these extra overs. What is it? the article mentions he bowled an extra 800 overs than the second most bowler is unbelievable. Mahmudullah needs to work hard on his bowling too.

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (November 12, 2012, 10:20 GMT)

''Shakib has delivered a mind-boggling 814 more overs than any Bangladesh bowler in all international formats. He brings in the wickets too, 93 in Tests since Rafique left, far ahead of Bangladesh's next best effort, 26, from Shahadat'' - THESE STATISTICS r enough to reflect the ONE-MAN SHOW of Shakib in Test cricket for BD. I feel pity for him sometimes as he is the only World Class cricketer 4m BD getting very few assistance 4m per4mances of other BD cricketers. It is ONLY Shakib who can offer economy, wickets and safety in a Test matches for BD. That's the weak point of BD bowling having no quality first bowler except unfit Mashrafi & some average class spinners.

Posted by TheBlackMonk on (November 12, 2012, 9:38 GMT)

He has been off form for quite a few months, not bowling up to his potential especially after he (if I'm not wrong) got injured playing for KKR on his shoulder. The injury might not be threatening but surely took away his quicker from his spells, those I reckon are deadly as come sudden!

Posted by etonmoy on (November 12, 2012, 6:35 GMT)

Shakib is the goose with golden egg for bd cricket. we should not over use him.

Posted by masud69 on (November 12, 2012, 6:23 GMT)

too much dependency on sakib will create pressure on the poor soul, others should also share responsibility.

Posted by Mad_for_Shakib on (November 12, 2012, 5:58 GMT)

yes, shakib has 2 b more carefull about his ability

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

The team management and Shakib himself should give scrupulous attention to his fitness and workload. I hope Bangladesh make a 10 -15 year plan to create a better team for the longer version of the game. With this developing side, we need Shakib to play as long as possible. An all-rounder should be the number 4 bowler of a test team (in terms of workload)...not the number one.

Posted by hasib9 on (November 12, 2012, 5:20 GMT)

Could not agree more, Mr. Isam. Shakib is the only international quality player in the team and that is why he has to do so much for the team. Shahadat and the likes are just far too expensive and they do well once in a season. Not good enough.

Posted by ziggy500 on (November 12, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

razzak will be picked 2nd test after picking up 9 wickets in an innings, surely a record

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 5:04 GMT)

He will be smashed by Samuels all around the park

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