Bangladesh Captain Shakib Al Hasan applauded the development of pacer Taskin Ahmed, who picked four wickets against Netherlands, and called him the leader of his bowling line up, “Taskin is one of the leaders now after Mashrafe’s exit, he has done tremendously well for the last two to three years for Bangladesh,” Shakib said. “He is leading by example. Having said that, we have got a very good fast bowling group in all three formats and they are doing really well. Can’t be more proud of the way they have improved themselves and come this far. And it’s showing in the result. I hope they continue this form in the rest of the World Cup and if that is the case I am sure we will have a very good World Cup.”
On their next World Cup game against South Africa, the left hander batsman believes their opponent will be under some pressure after thier first abandoned game against Zimbabwe and his team will look take a benefit of it, “It is a very important match for both sides but for South Africa, who would have expected two points from their first game, this is a do-or-die match. They will be under some pressure,” Shakib said in pre match conference. We have a win under our belt, and now we will be playing at a ground that normally aids spinners. They have a number of world-class players in their side, but we will try to the best of our ability.”
Shakib is confident enough about the prospects of winning their first ever T20I game against South Africa having done well against them recently, “We have some good memories against them recently, albeit in another format. It will certainly help us mentally. We have played against the South African pacers recently. We know what they can do, and we have been successful in ODIs. I think we can counter their plans and have the upper hand. We want to be clear-minded and enjoy the game. We are hopeful of a big crowd since Sydney has a huge Bangladeshi population,” he said.
Soumya Sarkar and Nazmul Hossain Shanto gave strong start to Bangladesh in the last match, scoring 43 runs in only 5.1 overs, which is also the team’s highest opening stand in their last 30 matches. Shakib feel this would be a confidence booster for their batting line up in the upcoming matches, “The opening stand will give us confidence. Both openers were quite positive against Netherlands, which was more important than the runs they scored. We should play with more freedom now.” he said.