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NZ vs Ban 2021-22 – Shakib Al Hasan says ‘I am happy Bangladesh beat New Zealand without me’


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Mortaza delighted at pacers stepping up for the team, says BCB could use Mirpur as a venue to develop quicks

Senior players Shakib Al Hasan and historic Test win against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui a few days ago. Shakib, who withdrew from the tour to spend time with his family, said that the victory proves the visitors don’t have to rely just on the senior players alone.

“I don’t think my presence was necessarily important (in New Zealand),” Shakib said. “I am actually happy that they did it without me. Not just me… (but the others too). I think what really delighted me was that the notion, particularly in the media, that not many players apart from the four or five senior ones can win games for the team – that will be changed. If they are handed the responsibility, these youngsters will play better.”

Shakib said that the victory was sweeter coming off a year of disappointing performances. The team endured two winless streaks of 10 matches each in 2021, from February to April and then from October to December.

“We made an unbelievable start to 2022. I am very happy. Credit goes to all the players and coaching staff for playing well under so much pressure and in these conditions. Everyone tried hard. This was always going to be a challenging year after a difficult time in 2021 for us. I hope we can continue in this manner. Bangladesh do not play this well all the time

“Not everything will change after a Test win. But it creates the opportunity for change. I think if we can hold onto this belief, particularly the BCB, we can do well in the World Test Championship,” Shakib said

Mashrafe, who is preparing for this season’s BPL, said that fast bowlers winning a Test match for Bangladesh was their biggest takeaway. Bangladesh pacers picked up 13 wickets at Bay Oval, the most they have ever bagged in a Test match. Their previous highest was 11 against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2013.

“Taskin (Ahmed) and Ebadot (Hossain) proved that if they put in the hard work, they can improve. It is good to see the pacers winning a game for us, but this win doesn’t necessarily answer all the questions.

“This is not a reply to all the criticism in recent times. Rather, we should learn from this, that we can win matches if we give players the opportunity. Cricket boards should invest and see what’s happening so that it could bring better results in the future,” Mashrafe said.

He also heaped praise on Ebadot for being patient and spoke about how the fast bowler has reaped the rewards after being given a long rope in Tests in the last two years.

“Ebadot’s improvement isn’t recent. He has been playing for a while and has been kept in consideration in Tests. He must have been given assurance that he will play. He knows this is his career, his future. He has to serve the team.

“Ebadot’s wickets [in New Zealand’s second innings] won us the game. It could have been a drawn game. You have to give the player a bit of time. He got set slowly. Rahi has been giving service for a long time (unclear). Giving them a bit of time always brings a good result,” he said.

Mashrafe said that the BCB could look at turning one of their major venues to develop fast bowlers. “I think they could look at Mirpur to help the fast bowlers since the ball here goes up and down. It, however, depends on how much you depend on the fast bowlers. So it is good that the pacers won us the game,” he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84



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