The tag of world’s premier all-rounder rightfully belongs to Shakib Al Hasan, who is all set to prove a point to his critics, feels Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes. Shakib has recently regained his top ODI all-rounder’s position in ICC rankings and Bangladesh’s greatest ever cricketer with more than 5000 runs and 250 wickets in the 50-over format will play a key role for the ‘Tigers’. There were some doubts surrounding Shakib’s fitness but the coach insisted that he is fine. “Shakib is fine. He is in a great position physically. He had a little problem in Ireland but he’s got over that and is raring to go. He is looking forward to a wonderful tournament. I think he’s got a bit of a point to prove and he probably thinks that as well,” Rhodes was quoted as saying in the ICC website.
The talented all-rounder, according to Bangladesh coach was falling off the radar a bit but is now slowly getting back to his best. “He (Shakib) seems to have been a little bit forgotten but now he’s back as the world’s No.1 all-rounder in ODI cricket – and that’s where we think he belongs. But he’s got a point to prove to make sure everybody else believes that.” One area of concern has been the injury to another key all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad, who is currently nursing a shoulder niggle.
Rhodes said: “Mahmudullah’s shoulder is coming along a little slowly. I don’t think it would have been possible for him to bowl against Pakistan in the warm-up game. We are very optimistic that we can get him up and running for the early stages of the World Cup.