After indulging in team’s training sessions, Bangladesh's senior pro Shakib Al Hasan works out alone ahead of Thursday's quarter-final vs India
Melbourne: Yesterday, exactly eight years ago, Shakib Al Hasan scored an impressive 53 against India in a group match of the 2007 World Cup in Port of Spain, which the Rahul Dravid-led side lost. That was the first time Shakib played India in an ODI. Since then, the Bangladeshi all-rounder has batted against the Men in Blue nine times, scoring four half centuries and a 49.
Shakib Al Hasan (left) plays football with teammate Sabbir Rahman during a training session in Melbourne yesterday. Pic/AFP
His batting prowess notwithstanding, the 27-year-old has claimed 13 Indians wickets with his left-arm spin too.
It's no wonder that the vice-captain, has been doing the extra hard yards during training at the Melbourne Cricket Ground across the last two days in preparation for Thursday's World Cup quarter-final against the defending champions.
On Monday and Tuesday, Shakib was seen running multiple rounds across the huge MCG alone, long after his team had finished their training session and were relaxing in the dressing room. "Shakib is geared up for the India match.
He knows that beating the Indians is tough and that the team will look up to him as one of the senior players and vice captain to deliver, so he is training harder. He spoke to the coach and requested that he be allowed to do some rounds after practice on his own. He's a senior player so obviously he knows what he is doing," said a member of the Bangladeshi contingent on condition of anonymity.
Shakib admitted he feels he needs to take the responsibility in what is Bangladesh cricket's biggest match this far. "I have roles on the field and off it too. First of all, I need to play well and contribute with both bat and ball.
As vice-captain, I have a leadership role to play. If I feel anything at any point, I will go and tell the captain. Off the field, I also have to motivate the players," Shakib, who is the No 2 all-rounder in ODIs and No 1 in Tests and T20s, told reporters after practice at the MCG yesterday.
Shakib refused to look too much into the 2007 victory over India, but felt his team was a better prepared one this time round. He said that he planned to use his Indian Premier League experience to plot India's downfall tomorrow.
"I will obviously plan against Virat (Kohli), Dhoni and (Suresh) Raina and use all my experience of playing in the IPL and even share it with my teammates. This is what you learn playing in the IPL and it helps," added Shakib, who felt that 280 to 320 should be a par score at the MCG which is a good batting track.
Shakib's batting average against India. The left-handed batsman scored 360 runs in 11 ODIs, claiming 13 wickets
Photos: Salman Khan returns from Jodhpur to Mumbai
Pics: Sidharth Shukla-Rashami Desai's sizzling chemistry at TV show launch
Ooh La Lana! WWE Diva flaunts sexy curves in these 30 pictures
15 'peach' perfect photos of Priyanka Chopra at People's Choice Awards 2017
62 going on 16: These photos of Rekha prove she is 'forever young'