After defeating New Zealand by seven wickets in the series opener in Dhaka, Shakib Al Hasan stated that the wicket was even more difficult than the Australia series. Bangladesh’s winning streak in the recent matches helped them to register their first-ever T20I victory against New Zealand.
Bangladesh are in red hot form in T20I cricket as they have conquered their recent series against Zimbabwe and Australia with the Tigers gaining a lot of confidence from the 4-1 series victory against the Kangaroos. The pitch in Dhaka always aided spinners and the home bowlers made use of the conditions every time they receive the ball. Not only that, the series opener was a low-scoring game where the hosts restricted the Black Caps to a paltry score of 60.
While speaking about the match, Shakib Al Hasan, who contributed well with bat and ball in the first game, stated that the pitch seemed more difficult than the series against Australia.
"I think the wicket in the first match was more difficult than the Australia series. I think we still bowled very well. They naturally struggled as they are not acclimatized to these conditions," he said, reported ESPN Cricinfo.
Chasing the 60-run target set by the New Zealand batsmen was not a big task for the hosts, but the visitors bowled really well to put a lot of pressure on Bangladesh's batsmen. But the hosts started off very patiently and eventually progressed by each over. Shakib Al Hasan, who made 25 runs of 33 balls, stated that picking up singles and running between wickets was very more important in these conditions.
"Picking up singles and running between the wicket must be in focus in these conditions. It is hard to find boundaries but if you are in a positive frame of mind, singles and doubles make it easier. It releases the batsmen's pressure," he further said.
“When the batsman is set, it might be possible to score some runs, taking advantage of a few loose balls. But at the end of the day, these are tough conditions for the batsmen. They are going through a challenging situation in these pitches."
Shakib also mentioned how the Tigers made it into Super Eights in the 2007 ODI WC after maintaining a winning streak of 18 from their last 24 matches. The southpaw is hopeful that the current winning streak can make them favorites to win the 2021 ICC T20I WC in UAE, which is scheduled to begin on October 17.
"I think it is important that we are winning regularly ahead of the World Cup. Remember that we won a number of matches before the 2007 World Cup. It helped us. I think these wins will improve our team's confidence ahead of the World Cup."
Shakib Al Hasan recently claimed the 100 T20I wicket milestone during the series against Australia and the Bangladesh all-rounder stated that he does not want to focus on personal achievements, instead, he would like to contribute to the team.
"An achievement is always great but I don't want to focus on personal goals. These will fall into place as I continue to contribute to the team. It is good to hear I am near or have achieved a milestone. It inspires me to do better," he added.