“Bangladesh and Test cricket demand Shakib to lead from the front”
On a track with a plenty of help for the pacers, Kemar Roach transformed into a demon. In the first session of Day 1 of first Test, Roach created havoc in the Bangladesh batting lineup. In the twinkle of an eye, Tamim Iqbal, Mominul Haque and Mushfiqur Rahim left the crease and it was up to the Bangladesh captain to lead from the front. But Shakib Al Hasan, who was appointed as the Test skipper last year, lasted for just two balls. He poked at a Roach-delivery, which was leaving him and thus started off his second stint as the Test skipper of Tigers with a duck! Within one hour, the visitors folded for just 43 runs!
Had he FIFA World Cup not been on the horizon, the Bangladesh cricket fraternity would have been under fire for sure! The Bangladesh critics and fans love their boys, but whenever such a disastrous display crops up, they don’t step back to take their heroes to the cleaners and that flawed genius Shakib has always been the target like Cristiano Ronaldo!
The criticism regarding the debacle on Day 1 was evident, but it failed to cross the limits of ugliness only because of the greatest show on earth, the twist and turn of which was more fascinating than the action at Antigua! The Shakib-bashing did not cross the threshold level, but still, it could be palpable and obviously, one expects the captain of the team to exhibit the character when the opposition is at the top of their game.
Shakib is intelligent and charismatic. He has a very sharp cricketing brain and in his heyday, he is able to run the show on his own. And when the matter is about exhibiting consistency, there is still no one in the Bangladesh team to hold a candle in front of the best allrounder in the world.
But at Antigua, he looked a helpless figure, who was searching for answers. As the day progressed and the sun baked down, one could witness a champion to melt down. It was evident that the best in the business was not enjoying himself in the middle.
The track had uneven bounce, but he was seen unable to exploit those while those armers did not dish out like before. Yes, even a champion cricketer might have an off-day, but this cricketing world is pretty unforgiving about the captains and when the captain is the best allrounder in the world, well, none wishes to listen to any excuses. In the subcontinent, the scenario is not at all pretty and in case of the arrogant child, it’s too ugly!
Shakib cut a frustrating figure in the first Test and in a country like Bangladesh, where people just wait to crucify the best only to uplift the mediocre performers for the sake of self-benefits, Shakib just needs to wake up from the nightmare at Antigua and rediscover his mojo as early as possible.
Each and every team members watch towards the captain during the tough times and that’s where a captain needs to rise to the occasion. Shakib needs to act as a lighthouse for the Tigers. He needs to lead by an example.
Shakib may not relish playing Test matches these days, but the fact is, he is the Test captain in the best format of the game and the best format demands the best cricketer of the country to deliver the best. Bangladesh and Test cricket demand Shakib to lead from the front. As because, the success of Shakib in Tests mean the success of Tigers – a reality, which has been proved right time and again.
It’s time to wake up Shakib Al Hasan!