Four double tons in four successive Test series for Virat Kohli. Only one six was hit during that exquisite knock against Bangladesh at Hyderabad. The shot selections were perfect and there was no hint of losing patience and focus. Fatigue hardly touched his body while the hunger for runs increased more and more with the progress of time. A brilliant double ton cropped up and the magnificent knock came to an end when India were sitting on a driver’s seat.
On day 3, Bangladesh started the day with the hope of a fighting reply and ending the first session on a high. But Umesh Yadav’s reverse swing and immaculate length jolted the Bangladesh batting line up. It was a confused batting display where the running between the wicket was shoddy and understanding the length seemed an uphill task. Bangladesh lost early wickets and looked towards their most experienced campaigners – Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan – to consolidate things for the visitors.
While Mushfiq remained calm and composed and exhibited high quality technique against a very good bowling attack, Shakib decided to counterattack. He dished out some of his trademark shots along the square of the wicket and along the V to bring the Bangladesh innings back to rhythm.
Indeed, the Bangladesh innings came back into rhythm, but the flawed genius from Bangladesh, suddenly imploded and played a shot which was not needed at all.
Such sort of brain freeze is nothing new with Shakib. Against Moeen Ali, last year in the first Test, he threw his wicket way in a frustrating manner by coming down the wicket. This year, he ended his stay at the crease cheaply by holing out to mid on against New Zealand at Christchurch.
Had such sort of madness displayed during his starting days, one could understand by saying to himself, rush of blood from a young gun, but after playing international cricket for more than ten years, such rash strokes during the crunch moment of the game, is quite unacceptable.
Later on Shakib explained about his dismissal in the press conference where he said,” I like to contribute for the team. Obviously, even I am not happy [when I get out], even if I’ve scored 217. I wanted to score more for the team. But I know that’s not going to happen. Just for this, I am not going to change my style of play. If I change it, I don’t think I will be Shakib. That’s my way of thinking.”
Typical Shakib and he spoke from his heart rather than being too formal. Cricketers like Shakib are flawed genius and play the game more on the basis of their aggressive instincts. The impulsive nature dominates more than composure. Such sort of attitude might gift you heartbreaks and at the same time, pure joy and entertainment.
Shakib’s dismissal on day 3 triggered a lot of criticism, but one must understand, that’s the way he plays and it doesn’t seem he will change so soon.
But for the sake of Bangladesh, he needs to change a bit.
I think, a bit of composure is needed, when he’s set at the crease and in the past, he showed, he can achieve such. Otherwise, it is not possible to smash a double ton in New Zealand against the likes of Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner.
If he adds a bit of resolve in his batting, he can transform into a batsman who can score big hundreds.
Shakib is a champion and the expectations are always high when he is batting or bowling. He needs to bear in mind about his value to the team and cut short his rush of blood. It will be extremely beneficial for Bangladesh. He might not turn out to be a batsman like Virat Kohli, but certainly, can be one of the finest run scorers in Test cricket.
Written by Barshon Kabir