Published: January 17, 2010
There was no other choice for Bangla-desh captain Shakib Al Hasan and coach Jamie Siddons than encountering what Virender Sehwag had just told about their team during the pre-match briefing yesterday.
The young skipper hit back on the harsh comments but in a modest way and to some extent he was diplomatic also while Siddons was wearing interesting smile on his face while replying on the issue as the Australian had the opportunity to live with a number one team for long. There was no shortage of confidence while Shakib and Siddons encountered an array of questions regarding Sehwag’s comments, but they were very much aware of the fact that they had to prove their worth on the field, and not in a war of words.
“It’s totally up to him [Sehwag]. It’s his comments. It’s of no use to say something before the match. Only after the match it would be possible for us to show what we are capable of,” was the prudent answer of the 22-year-old Bangladesh skipper when asked about the observation of Sehwag about his team.
“I’ve not read the comments, so, it should not be worth talking about. Everybody goes through phases of development. Every team has good years and bad years. No real comments.”
“We are not an extraordinary side. But we have proved to enough people in recent past that we are an improving side. I think we are hoping to show it in the Test match and the series. We’ll take it day by day. As I said hopefully we’ll prove Sehwag wrong,” was the answer of Siddons.
But Shakib was quick to come up with a salvo. “They [India] have been ranked number one recently. I think South Africa and Australia are much better team than them. It’s true that they [India] are playing very good cricket. They have a very good batting line-up. But still they are human beings. They can always make mistakes. If they make mistake and we can capitalise on that, we will be a very good team in the match,” he said.
And to Shakib no team is invincible as he said: “They are not the batsmen that can never be got out or bowlers who cannot be batted against. I have taken five wickets against South Africa, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. You never know tomorrow I can take seven wickets or maybe no wicket at all. This is cricket where you can’t say hundred per cent before the finish of the match.”
The 22-year-old skipper also expressed his high hopes by saying that they can beat any team if the players come up with their best but he was looking forward to playing good cricket session by session in the series against number one opponents.
“I think we are a good team also who can win against any side. I am not sure about the Test match, but definitely in one-day cricket. We are improving. We won the last two-match series against the West Indies. So I think we have a very good chance in this Test match. Hopefully, our boys will come up with their best in the series.”
Replying to a question about Sehwag’s comments that it’s almost impossible for his bowlers to take 20 Indian wickets, Shakib said: “If we bowl our target will be to take ten wickets. If we bat the target will be to bat through the day losing four or five wickets. We will be thinking day by day. We are not thinking about wining or losing. It’s a five-day game and the game can shift any moment. We’ll think about day by day … session by session.”
Coach Siddons also showed his confidence in his boys and proudly remembered his stint with the Australian cricket team.
“You get there by winning games. They [Australia] won enough games to put themselves on top. I’ll stay in touch with the Australian cricket team to give me few points on the Indian cricket team. So hopefully we will use them to good effect.”
Nobody however was not ready to comment on the pitch.
“We can’t predict about the wicket. Last time we played a Test against South Africa here and we scored 500-plus runs and in the last one-day against Zimbabwe here, they were bowled out for 44,” said Shakib when asked about the condition of pitch.