File image of Bangladesh ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan. -AP
Bangladesh's star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan made this ICC World Cup a special one he won't forget in 'a hurry' as he brought up an extraordinary double of 600+ runs and 11 wickets in the World Cup.
Despite some spirit show in the halfway of the tournament, Bangladesh faced World Cup exit, finishing eighth. But Shakib won a million hearts with his stupendous all-round performance throughout the tournament.
Shakib drew stinging criticism from the country's cricket fans and common people by being the sole member not in the official team picture before World Cup. But since then Shakib was determined to make a mark in World Cup 2019.
Shakib really showed in this world cup why he is the world's top-ranked all-rounder in ODIs. Promoted to No.3, he had a platform to showcase the true extent of his batting skill, and he did so with distinction, accumulating 606 runs at an average of 86.57, while striking at 96.03.
"From the first match, I had a feeling that something good will happen (this time). I scored well in all opening matches in the previous World Cups but I could not continue doing that."
"So I had to push myself to not lose the momentum after gaining it. [But] I was not surprised because I knew what I had in my mind. It's just that what happened is the best that I thought could have happened for me." Shakib said.
Milestones and Shakib Al Hasan are synonymous with each other and that's what made it thrilling for the viewers throughout the world cup. With many Bangladeshi new records under his belt, milestone-man Shakib touched record books almost every Bangladesh's match he played in this World Cup.
He has been arguably the player of the tournament so far, scoring 606 runs in eight innings to sit top of the run charts, and also taking 11 wickets which is a unique record for a player in the World Cup history.
He equalled Sachin Tendulkar's record of seven half-centuries in a single World Cup tournament, and did so having played three fewer innings, leaving his skipper singing his praises. It took the 32-year-old to the unmatched heights of 606 runs at an average of 86, becoming just the third player to hit the milestone after Sachin Tendulkar and Matthew Hayden.
As had been the case throughout the tournament, Bangladesy heavily banked on their talismanic all-rounder to see them through. His unflappable batting in the middle overs, coupled with his wily left-arm spin, proved vital in this world cup.
Despite managing just three wins in the world cup, Bangladesh showed strong performance against heavyweight contenders and credit should be given to Shakib Al Hasan who is one of the highlights of the World Cup. But his remarkable World Cup meant Shakib laboured a lot with his shoulder facing 631 deliveries and bowling 74 overs.
"I was feeling mentally exhausted in the last two matches," said Shakib. "Probably I got over it because my fitness level was quite good. I could work on my fitness for one or two days in between, but at the same time I could have gotten more tired in the process."
"It's tough to balance everything and so in that sense, the last two matches were really challenging. I don't why but I had a feeling that it [increased fitness level] was necessary. It helped as I had a good preparation before the World Cup."
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