Back in action, Shakib is eager to make it better

Sunrisers Hyderabad all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan says it was difficult to break into the side with players like Jonny Bairstow and David Warner.

Shakib Al Hasan addresses the media after the match between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday.   -  SPORTZPICS

Sunrisers Hyderabad all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who played his second IPL game in the season after a long time, isn’t complaining of being benched. The Bangladesh star is here for the focus and training ahead of the World Cup.

On Tuesday against Chennai Super Kings, Shakib sneaked in as skipper Kane Williamson had to fly back home due to personal reasons. He bowled an average spell, conceding 27 runs in four overs without a wicket.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow’s departure will lead to another overseas vacancy in the Sunrisers XI. Shakib, who skipped the World Cup camp in Bangladesh to get match practice in the IPL, is likely to appear in some of the fixtures. 

“As a professional, there is no mental pressure, we know our job. The way our overseas players were playing, they couldn’t pick me. There was no opportunity. I knew that was going to happen as we have David Warner and Bairstow scoring 70 per cent runs. 

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“Kane is the captain and Rashid [Khan] is Rashid. It is hard to get a chance. I needed to ensure that I work hard and when my opportunities come, I can contribute,” he told reporters after Sunrisers’ six-wicket loss to Chennai at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium.

Shakib is confident that the Sunrisers management will come up with new game plans to fill the Bairstow gap. “I think with Jonny leaving tomorrow, we need to have a different plan. The team management will look at the opposition and conditions and then, decide the best. Since we have such a strong squad, they can pick six to seven combinations,” said Shakib.

Shakib decoded Shane Watson’s 53-ball 96 as a natural occurrence. “Once he spends five to six overs at the crease, then it gets difficult to get him out. He has the power to clear the boundary, even the mishits go for sixes.

I think he was struggling initially when the ball was moving. But we knew that once he gets in, he could cover those balls easily as he can hit four sixes in five balls. For a player with that conversion rate, you need his wicket or else you will be out of the game.”

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