World Twenty20 2012 September 14, 2012

Shakib enjoying new top-order role

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal have long been mainstays of Bangladesh's batting, but Tamim has usually been in charge of providing the momentum at the top with Shakib finishing things from No. 5.

In the T20s, though, with Shakib having been bumped up to No. 3, the pair will be in charge of providing a good start. While the move potentially gives two of Bangladesh's best batsmen more time in the middle, the team will have plenty to worry about if they are both dismissed early. That, though, has happened only once in seven matches in the last three months - against Ireland.

Shakib has so far batted at his new position in six T20Is and once during the unofficial matches in Port-of-Spain, and said on Friday that he's comfortable in the new role. "If I bat in the top order, I will get more chances to score runs and more chances to face balls. I am looking forward to batting at No. 3," he said in Colombo.

Though his average is 17.71 in the seven innings batting at No. 3, he has just about done the job expected of him in several of those games - either by batting past the halfway stage to leave the team in a decent position or by staying till the end in chases.

Shakib said one of the keys to Bangladesh's success will be temperament. "There'll be some tough situations but we know how to handle it," he said. "The boys have been playing cricket constantly for a year so they'll understand how to handle the pressure and if we can do this, we'll win the matches."

Bangladesh have a mediocre record in World Twenty20s so far, but will be boosted by Tamim's resurgence as a Twenty20 opener, which has come about after he began properly understanding what his role is. A good run of recent form has seen him make his three highest Twenty20 scores in his previous four innings.

"I have been playing quite a few T20s recently, around 15-20 in the last month or so," Tamim said. "I think I am in very good shape, I understand the game better than before. I hope I can carry it into the World T20 and perform well.

"Earlier I was struggling to pace my innings. I used to attack from ball one. Now I think I am batting more cleverly - attacking as well as picking up the singles. That's how you should bat in T20s."

Bangladesh step up their preparations with a practice match against Zimbabwe on Saturday and are expected to play their best XI leading up to their first match in the tournament proper against New Zealand on September 21.

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  • Muhmmad on September 17, 2012, 17:47 GMT

    @Ahmed Hussain...I am not saying afridi is better than shakib or shakib is better than afridi but the fact is afridi is in ICC odi team of the year and now plz don't tell me YOU know better than r ryt afridi is now more of a bowler i m pakistani but still i think currently Kallis is the best all rounder in world cricket and after i'll rate Yuvi and then afridi...Shakib no doubt is a world class player but he still have a long way to go may be after 4 5 years when afridi kallis and yuvi retires we can say that he's the best all rounder in the world but not now.

  • Dummy4 on September 17, 2012, 16:50 GMT

    @Faizan Feroz...Have you seen the warm-up matches of Afridi and Shakib today? incomparable Shakib is the best all-rounder in the world :P

  • Sami on September 16, 2012, 18:14 GMT

    The long term number 3 prospect of Bangladesh's Cricket is the highest run getter at the recent Under-19 World Cup whose name is ANAMUL HAQUE.

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    @Faizan Feroz...loool bit premature of you predicting results like that aren't you? yes you may be right but what if you're wrong? because if these results did turn out to be wrong, maybe I might remind you with the link so you can eat your own words. Actually the young Shakib has a better bowling and batting average than Afridi in all forms did you know that? oh wait I forgot man Afridi doesn't play Tests so yeah Shakib is better than Afridi infact Afridi is not really an all-rounder looks more like a bowler to me who can bat like 1 per 20 innings or so lol but its not us that say Shakib is the best all-rounder the world rather its the ICC player rankings that rate Shakib as the best Test and ODI all-rounder in the world and don't tell me you know better than the ICC? have a nice day :)"

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2012, 17:08 GMT

    Guys , its been really tough for Bangladesh for these early years but not now. Bangladesh is quite capable of beating any team in T20 & ODI. SO don't throw your words with your imaginations. Its true and will be proved. Insahallah. Don't let your hope be gone. We are not weak team any more. We have beaten India, Srilanka in the Asia cup. How we did that, people know.

    Speacially @@@@@@@@@Faizan Feroz, mind your language. Sakib is not only BEST ALLROUNDER IN ASIA BUT ALSO IN THIS WORLD. EVEN THOUGH HIS COMPETITOR HAS BEEN PLAYING HUGE NUMBER OF MATCH'S, HE IS ABLE TO KEEP THE RECORD FOR ONE YEAR LAST LONG. If he gets the chance to play more match's then you can't imagine his rating points. Nobody could reach him...........

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2012, 16:37 GMT

    Faizan Feroz@ m frm india...and m indian supporter! ur so called lala is so overrated!! bd cricket is improving..slowly bt they improving. 1day they will b 1 of d strong team..and when shakib will hang his boots, his record will b btr than ur afridi..mark my word.

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2012, 14:46 GMT

    u still believe that u can pull this one ?? yeah ryt like every world cup u boast like tigers and then turn into pussy cats on the ground, apurba yeah shakib is at the moment is btr than afridi BUT the reasong for it being NO AFDIDI as simple as that :P :P 777aditya yeah son live ur dream its not gonna last long :P as usual bengalis will be left out in the 1st stage , ist match they will lose second pak will win and then third shakib back bengladesh so long being the BEST ALL ROUNDER IN ASIA . the two best are none other than yuvi and afridi cox they win matches and world cups nt just hopes ! cheers

  • Dummy4 on September 16, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    Shakib should in the ICC ODI team. its realy shame that he is not in the icc odi team. he is a world class the moment he is btr than Afridi.

  • Aditya on September 16, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    Shakib is easily Asia's best all rounder, but an unsung hero. What Tamim did to Zaheer and inevitably India two World Cups ago is stuff bragging rights are gained of. Both obviously hold the key for Bangladesh's success. The whole team is so talented that they are dark horses to win this T20 WC. Enterprising batting and inspired fielding are Bangladesh's assets. In bowling, spin department is pretty good. Somehow, if the fast bowlers too can come good, watch out everyone - this team means business!

  • Godric on September 16, 2012, 11:31 GMT

    @Jindal, Ash the most dependable?? no bro he is doing good but he is not in the top 3 batsman's. Riyad, Mushy and Nasir are currently better in t20 too.

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