Shakib to bat at middle order instead of his favoured No.3 position

DHAKA – The Bangladesh team management made it sure that Shakib Al Hasan is not going to bat at his favoured No.3 position during the three-match ODI series against West Indies, starting on Wednesday.

Number 3 is the position in which the ace all-rounder thrived tremendously to make an avalanche of runs. He compiled 606 runs in this position at an average close to 87 and with two centuries and five half-centuries in eight matches during the last World Cup.

He also took 11 wickets and became the only cricketer in world cup history to score more than 500 runs and took 10 plus wickets in a single tournament.

Even though no one was in favour to let Shakib bat at this position including senior player Tamim Iqbal, due to the lack of experience created at lower down the order, Shakib almost forced team management to allow him. He got the backing of the then captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who went against team management publicly to let Shakib bat in this position. And the rest was the history.

Head coach Russell Domingo showed the reason of lack of experience in middle order to bring Shakib down the order again.

Domingo said Nazmul Hossain Shanto will bat at No. 3 position in a bid to prepare him well.

“Obviously Shanto has been in really good form. It is great to have Shakib back. He had an unbelievable World Cup at No. 3,” Domingo said here today during a virtual press conference.

“At the moment I am probably thinking of having the experienced players at no. four, five and six being Shakib, Mushfiq and Mahmudullah Riyad. It gives us good maturity and experience in the middle-order. We know playing in the sub-continent where the middle-order is so important,” he clarified.

Domingo also reasoned that Shakib needs a breathing space after coming back to the team following a long hiatus and therefore batting at middle order would help him to get back his rhythm.

At the same time, according to Domingo, No. 3 position is the good place to groom up a youngster who has the talent to thrive in International cricket.

With Bangladesh seeking a settled batting line up, Domingo said, the one-down position is the place which could play a pivotal role in developing a young batsman like Shanto.

“I just feel that there’s a good young player in Shanto who is in really good touch at the moment. He played in the last series against Zimbabwe and we need to make sure that we develop some young batters. In the sub-continent the top three is the best place to develop young batsmen,” he said.

“Shakib hasn’t played international cricket in a while so batting at No. 4 would give him the breathing space of coming back into the side. We know he is a world-class player. This batting line-up is not set in stone. There’s a long way to go for the World Cup. We need to look at various options before we settle on a batting line-up,” he concluded.BSS