Bangladesh star cricketer Shakib Al Hasan said that India seems to be unbeatable at home and that it will be a huge challenge not just for himself but for the entire team when the two nations clash in the one-off Test match at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here from February 9.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ongoing two-day practice match for the visiting side at the Gymkhana Ground on Sunday, the best all-rounder ever from Bangladesh feels it is going to be very tough to take on Kohli’s team which is in such wonderful form of late at home.
“But, we are up for the challenge even though we are aware that the Indian bowling is top-class with the presence of world-class spinners backed up by a competent pace attack,” the 29-year-old Shakib said.
Commenting on the classy Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, he said, “He is a terrific bowler. Looks the best given the way he has been bowling in the last two to three years.”
“What impresses me the most about Ashwin is that he has such control over line, length and flight that he can do anything he wants to. A wonderful blend of confidence and control when he bowls,” was the compliment of Shakib, who played 46 Tests scoring 3213 runs including four centuries.
“He doesn’t seem to be getting out now in any format,” was the former Bangladesh captain's comment on Indian captain Virat Kohli.
“Yes, we are going to miss Mustafizur Rahman (left-arm pacer who was a member of the victorious Sunrisers Hyderabad in the last IPL). He was so familiar with the playing conditions here. But, I hope he would recover fast and join the team at the earliest,” he said.
“Test cricket is all about mental fitness and strength. It requires a lot of character which is more important than technique,” Shakib remarked.
“It will be a difficult task for us, no doubt. But again, despite the disappointing tour to New Zealand recently (where it lost both the Tests in the series), we can take confidence from the fact that we have done well against England at home before that,” he pointed out.
“The fact is that we are touring abroad after a long gap and it was definitely difficult to adjust to the conditions there,” he added.
“I am looking forward to this great opportunity of playing India in a Test match in India. And I hope that my familiarity with the playing conditions, having played in the IPL regularly, should help my cause,” Shakib concluded.