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News

'Our batsmen are mentally ready' - Shakib

Shakib Al Hasan has said that consulting his old coach Nazmul Abedeen helped him tweak his action on the third day of the Fatullah Test against India

Shakib Al Hasan has said that consulting his old coach Nazmul Abedeen helped him tweak his action on the third day of the Fatullah Test against India. During the course of his four-wicket haul on Friday, Shakib became the first Bangladesh bowler to take 100 Test wickets at home. Abedeen, currently the BCB's national game development manager, was Shakib's coach at the BKSP during his formative years, and the allrounder has been known to get in touch with Abedeen often over technical matters.
"I was trying to change my action a bit," Shakib said. "I had a chat with my coach last night. I wasn't bowling well in the last 3-4 Test matches. So he told me about some of the areas that I can look into and I was trying to do that. That helped me a lot. There are some areas in my action that I can improve a lot and then I can be a better bowler."
On the first day of this Test, Shakib bowled nine overs on the first day but like it was in the Tests against Pakistan, he could not extract much out of the wicket. He, however, looked like he was trying to bowl with a slightly open-chested action, taking it from wide of the crease. He also was not darting the ball in as he did in the Khulna Test in April. His effort to flight the ball was visible, something that was missing in his previous three Tests when he took one wicket each.
Shakib said that he took the advice on Thursday night and began applying it in the middle, which meant he had a mixed third day, finishing with figures of 4 for 105 in 24.3 overs.
"I am not completely confident as of yet. If I work with the new technique, it will be much better. Some overs I felt that I bowled really well. But it went back in the latter overs. It was a mixed performance. Actually because I didn't do too many drills, I just spoke to my coach last night and tried to apply whatever he said today. So it was difficult for me. I have to work on the techniques and work with it. It will get better."
Bangladesh were glad that Shakib worked through the changed action, as he provided the day's first breakthrough, drawing Shikhar Dhawan into a false shot in the 12th over of the day, ending in a simple caught and bowled dismissal. He cut one through Rohit Sharma's defenses in the next over, before trapping M Vijay leg-before later in the afternoon and getting lucky with the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane.
Shakib said that with the wickets falling, the Bangladesh batsmen were getting mentally ready to bat after tea. But the third rain interruption and the eventual calling off of the day's play meant that the home side were now essentially looking at two days of survival.
"Maybe had they scored a few more runs I would have expected them to declare but honestly I think it's a difficult situation for them as well. I am sure they will try to take a chance because they have scored almost 470 and they don't have anything to lose," Shakib said.
"At the same time, we have to score runs. We have to bat well in six sessions. We are aware of the situation. And the batsmen are mentally ready. In fact, we were thinking they would declare right after Tea. So we are ready that we might get a tough period and it will come for sure. If we can survive that period it will be good for us."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84