Following Bangladesh’s loss to New Zealand in Chennai, Shakib Al Hasan underwent a scan, casting doubt over his availability for the upcoming match against India. The all-rounder did not bowl during the team’s practice session in Pune.
Shakib’s Current Fitness Level
According to Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, Shakib had a productive batting session and did some running between the wickets. However, the results of his scan are still pending. “At the moment he is OK. We haven’t tried with bowling yet. So, he will come tomorrow morning and we will assess him again and then make a decision,” Hathurusinghe stated.
The coach emphasized that they would not risk Shakib’s health if he is not ready to play. However, if he is fit, there’s a possibility of him participating in the match.
Possibility of Shakib Playing as a Batter
Hathurusinghe did not dismiss the idea of Shakib playing solely as a batter against the tournament hosts. He explained that the medical staff’s opinion is crucial in such situations. They provide an assessment of the player’s condition, after which the captain and the coach decide whether it’s tactically sound to let the player participate.
Team director Khaled Mahmud echoed this sentiment earlier in the week, stating, “It is the doctor and physio’s call. We don’t want to trouble him in the long term. If he gets clearance from the physio, he will play.”
Shakib’s Performance Against India
Shakib has been a formidable force against India recently, claiming 10 wickets in the last four encounters at an average of just 18. However, India’s bowling coach, Paras Mhambrey, stated that they are not overly concerned about Shakib. “For us, it’s what we do in terms of our preparation, our execution and that we have a game plan,” Mhambrey said.
Implications of the Match for Both Teams
If India secures a win, it would mark their fourth consecutive victory in the tournament, bringing them closer to the semi-finals. On the other hand, a win for Bangladesh would significantly boost their slim chances of qualification. They can draw confidence from their recent record against India, having won three of the last four encounters, including the most recent match at the Asia Cup in September.