Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan doubtful for first Windies Test

Shakib isn’t sure he would be fit in time for the opening Test that begins on Thursday.

Shakib Al Hasan... “I may have to wait till the end.”   -  AFP

Bangladesh suffered a blow Wednesday after captain Shakib Al Hasan said he was not sure if he would be fit in time for the opening Test against the Windies.

Shakib, 31, missed the recent Test series against Zimbabwe because of surgery on an injured finger in September. The batsman was declared fit by the team’s physio and included in the squad for the two-Test West Indies series that begins on Thursday in Chittagong.

“We know how challenging it is to play a five-day match. So still there is confusion whether I have reached that level (to play),” Shakib told reporters in Chittagong. “I have trained only in four sessions. Among them, two sessions were optional. Let’s see, I may have to wait till the end.”

‘Important’ series

Shakib’s return was a big boost for the home side, which has struggled in recent Tests. It was thrashed 2-0 by the Windies in July, and then salvaged a 1-1 home series draw against Test minnow Zimbabwe earlier in November.

Read: Pakistan defeat against New Zealand the worst of my career, says Mickey Arthur

Shakib acknowledged playing the Windies would be more challenging than Zimbabwe, but said the two sides are closely matched. “I think both the teams will have equal chances. The wicket may get spin... [but] sometimes the wicket starts behaving well after a few days of playing,” he said of the Chittagong venue.

Kraigg Brathwaite at a press conference in Chittagong on Wednesday. Photo: AFP


“As both the teams are very close in rankings — eighth and ninth, I think the series will be a very important one. I am hopeful we will perform well.”

‘Can’t think about the past series’

Windies captain Kraigg Brathwaite said it must not rest on its success during the home series against Bangladesh. “Pitches are obviously different to what we played on (in the Caribbean). Whatever we do, whether fast bowling or spin, we have to do it well,” he said.

“We can’t think about the past series. We have to stick to our plans, and I think we will go on top.”

Windies has never lost a Test match in Bangladesh, winning six and drawing one. The second Test will be played in Dhaka from November 30 to December 4. Windies will also play three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 internationals during its month-long tour of Bangladesh.

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