Shakib set to return to No.3 against Sri Lanka...

Dhaka, Wednesday   23 June 2021

Shakib set to return to No.3 against Sri Lanka

 Sports Desk

 Published: 09:40 PM, 14 May 2021  

Shakib set to return to No.3 against Sri Lanka

Shakib set to return to No.3 against Sri Lanka

Bangladesh ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is set to return at No.3 in the upcoming three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka scheduled to be played from May 23.

Bangladesh's team management opted to demote Shakib in his comeback ODI series after the ban against West Indies to provide experience down the order. However, the ploy did not pay off as Nazmul Hossain Shanto failed to grab the opportunity at the position that paved the way for Soumya Sarkar's return in the following ODI series against New Zealand which Shakib missed.

Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin said that they feel the position suits him best. "He (Shakib) will bat at three against Sri Lanka (in the ODI's)," said Minhajul on Friday (May 14). "That (No.3) is the best place for him and we feel he will have the time to settle down before launching in the middle.

"He also wants to bat there (at three) and so we felt we should give him that opportunity," he added.

Shakib was promoted to three during the 2019 World Cup and he proved his worth with a scintillating batting performance, scoring 606 runs with an average of 86.57 that included two centuries and five half-centuries. At No.3 in ODIs, Shakib has been very successful, with an average of 58.58 in 23 matches, scoring 1177 runs.

The team management subsequently decided to push Shakib to four against West Indies, which was largely due to the fact that he was returning to international cricket after a long break, considering his one-year ban, along with bringing stability to the batting order.

However, Bangladesh's ODI skipper, Tamim Iqbal at that point in time made it clear that Shakib is open to a change in his batting position any time. "We had a clear message to him (Shakib) when we started our camp and I privately spoke to him on this (about his batting at four) and he understood the team plan and took it positively," Tamim had said ahead of the ODI series against West Indies.

"This will also create a breathing space for him (Shakib). He is coming back (to international cricket) after a long time. We all know and are aware of how well he has been at number three. He is happy to bat at number four and I have told him he can go back to bat at three anytime he feels like" he had said.