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POST TIME: 16 December, 2018 04:40:29 PM
Bangladesh sweat over fitness of Shakib
Independent Online Desk

Bangladesh sweat over fitness of Shakib

Bangladesh will be sweating over Shakib Al Hasan's fitness for the second time this series. When Shakib earlier returned to the Test squad after recovering from a finger injury, there were doubts about his availability on the eve of the first Test. He went on to play that Test but similar doubts surround him Shakib on the eve of the first T20I.

Shakib was hit on the toe by Mohammad Saifuddin in the nets and Bangladesh will be secretly nervous at the prospect of losing a captain and a player in one shot, should Shakib not be ready tomorrow.

Bangladesh head coach Steve Rhodes turned up for the media briefing as replacement for Shakib but sounded confident that the Bangladesh all-rounder will be fit for the first T20I against the Windies. "He's fine.

He got a little knock on the foot from Saifuddin, who bowled an inswinging yorker to him. Good ball actually. Hit him on the toe," Rhodes said. "He's icing his foot at the moment. I'd be very surprised if he wakes up tomorrow and there's any issues to be perfectly honest."

Rhodes said that he wasn't sure about Bangladesh being favourites in the T20I format, where Windies always find a way through. "We played well in the one-dayers and we should take a lot of confidence from that. We played well in the Test series, and that was fantastic.

"We want the players to beat the West Indies in T20. They're ranked above us. They are world champions. We surprised them in Florida and surprised ourselves as well.

But the plan is to go out there and win the series. We desperately want to do it and it's going to be a lot tougher than the other two series because this is the format West Indies excel at.

We will give it our best shot and hopefully we will be smiling at the end of it. Whatever happens we are pleased with the way our progress is going at the moment."

Rhodes said that he was happy with the skill levels of Bangladesh players but felt that the team still had many areas to improve upon, two of them being power-hitting and fielding. "Some of the areas when I came to this job and I looked at T20.

I looked at some of the power hitting and I saw the West Indies as a great example of some very strong guys who power hit, mishit sixes. I felt that that was something that we could work on, Rhodes said.

"At the moment, the Bangladeshi players are not the greatest athletes in the world if you look at some -- like the specimen of the West Indies players. On our day we can field extremely well. We want to try and get a bit more consistency in our fielding."

Rhodes was full of praise for the "Big Five" but said that Bangladesh is more than that just them, which is why the team have been doing so well in international cricket over the past few years.

"The big five gets mentioned a lot. And I respect them and I think they are wonderful players. But I'm so pleased that Bangladesh possesses more than the big five.

You've only got to look at Mehidy and his season so far and what he's been doing for a while now. A young fellow who's a great all-rounder, good fielder, he can bat well and he's a wonderful spin bowler who bowls well at any time.

He plays all formats and is a great example. The other one is Fizz [Mustafizur Rahman].

I mean Fizz doesn't seem to get a mention, in my eyes he is one of the best death bowlers in the world, one of the best one-day bowlers in the world.

Liton Das, he's got crucial runs for us in the Asia Cup final. Look at Soumya's couple of innings he has played recently. Imrul in the one-dayers against Zimbabwe was outstanding. So I think we've got quite a few of the guys now who are standing up. Let's call it the magnificent 11."Cricbuzz.

KK