When the annals of Bangladesh cricket are sifted by future generations, Shakib Al Hasan will emerge and re-emerge as the greatest cricketer of its first two decades. His on-field performances and off-field professionalism set a benchmark that was followed by peers and juniors alike. As a bowler, Shakib is accurate, consistent and canny; aggression and a wide range of strokes are the keys to his batting. Even more importantly, he has self-belief an excellent temperament, unflustered by the big occasion and ready to do battle against the top teams.
The best of his ability and temperament were on display in his first Test as captain, against a weakened West Indies side in Grenada, when Shakib took eight wickets and scored an unbeaten 96 in a tense but successful fourth-innings chase of 215, leading Bangladesh to their first overseas series victory. In only his fourth Test as captain, Shakib scored 87 and 100 – his maiden Test century – in a losing cause against New Zealand in Hamilton, performances that offered further proof of his skill and ability to handle pressure. Against the same opponents in 2008, Shakib took 7 for 36 in Chittagong, only the second instance of a Bangladesh bowler taking seven or more wickets in a Test innings.
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