Shakib Al Hasan may not have ecstatically celebrated his double hundred today, but he was quite excited during the post-day press conference.
The all-rounder, who now holds the record of the highest ever score posted by a Bangladesh batsman, told reporters that he had a feeling that he would do well today.
“Honestly speaking, after he [Mitchell Santner] dropped my catch yesterday, I went home and talked to my wife about cricket for a bit in the evening. She has begun to understand cricket these days. I didn’t tell her anything but within my head I had a sense of confidence. I was thinking to myself that big players use such opportunities to post big scores.
“But even then, I had to work really hard and go through difficult situations. The most satisfying thing was that I had to face several situations during this knock and I overcame all those obstacles successfully,” said Shakib following his game-changing 217.
He overcame Tamim Iqbal’s 206, which was the highest score posted by a Bangladeshi before today.
“I thought Tamim had scored 214 and not 206. But when I ran that single, Tamim started clapping and that’s when I came to know that this is the highest score,” said Shakib.
The left-armer shared a 359-run stand for the fifth wicket with Mushfiqur Rahim, the highest ever partnership posted by a Bangladeshi pair in Test cricket. Shakib said that every record they broke during their stand further encouraged them to make their partnership ‘bigger and bigger.’ He also expects this partnership to wear the hosts down.
“No matter how good or strong a team is, when you post such a big stand, the opponent is bound to feel a little bad,” he said.
Shakib’s partner Mushfiqur, who himself scored a well-composed 159, said that was important for the pair to do well in order to prove to the world that Bangladesh can successfully play overseas.
“We have probably completed just one job but there’s still three more days to go and anything is possible. But it is really satisfying to put up a partnership like this. After we lost the ODIs and T20Is we were under tremendous pressure and we needed to show something, to prove ourselves, because everyone thought Bangladesh couldn’t play overseas. I think in this context this was the best ever Bangladeshi partnership.
“The boys really stood up and hopefully in the near future, other guys will put their hands up and do well overseas,” said Mushfiqur.
As opposed to Shakib’s calm celebration, Mushfiqur was a lot more jubiliant and seemed to celebrate both of Shakib’s century and double hundred with a lot more vigour than Shakib himself. Speaking on the issue Mushfiqur said: “I never thought Shakib seemed in trouble even once during his knock. He coped with everything and counterattacked as well. He didn’t show any emotion. He didn’t even want to raise his bat I think, whether he scored a hundred or a 200 (laughs),” said Mushfiqur.
Both the Test skipper and Shakib believed that the wicket wasn’t flat and that bowlers would be able to get wickets if they bowled consistently in good areas in the next three days.