AB inspired me to bat at number three: Shakib
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan described how a conversation with AB de Villiers made him change his batting position ahead of the 2019 World Cup. The South African superstar shared his experience with Shakib, which later brought out the best in him. Notably, Shakib is presently serving a ban imposed by the International Cricket Council for failing to report an approach by a bookie.
"I was talking to him during the BPL before the World Cup. It was just a normal conversation. He told me that at times he has batted late. I thought I would take the center-stage after fall of two-three wickets," Shakib told DW Bangla.
Shakib Al Hasan ruled the roost with both bat and ball in the 2019 World Cup. His promotion in the batting order reaped dividends throughout the tournament. Although Bangladesh crashed out of the tournament without reaching the top four, the dashing all-rounder hogged all the limelight. He was the third-highest run-scorer with 606 runs at 86.57. Shakib also claimed 11 scalps.
Shakib became the first-ever cricketer to amass 600 runs and take 10 wickets in a single World Cup edition. Notably, Indian legend Yuvraj Singh had scored 362 runs and took 15 wickets in 2011.
Shakib revealed AB de Villiers pushed him to bat up the order by quoting his own example. "He was saying, had he batted at three, he could have scored more runs and that would have put less pressure on the next batsman," Shakib reiterated. "His theory was to play in the middle order and score 70-80, which sometimes gives the advantage to the team."
Shakib stated he is determined to make a comeback post the ban, which is supposed to end in October this year. "I want to return to the game. The biggest challenge is to be able to start again from where I had stopped." he said. He added, "That is what I am expecting from myself. Wish I can start from where I ended up."