Ahead of their all-important clash against India in the ongoing ODI World Cup 2023 in Pune on Thursday, Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusinghe has provided an update on skipper Shakib Al Hasan’ fitness, saying that all-rounder is okay but the management is waiting for his scan report.
Shakib suffered a slight quad tear during the match against New Zealand in Chennai. He skipped the optional training session on Wednesday but batted for 45 minutes in the nets on Tuesday. So, his availability still remains in doubt.
Notably, the 36-year-old Shakib has been excellent with the ball against India in recent times, taking 10 wickets in the past four meetings at an average of just 18.
“He had a good batting session yesterday and did a little bit of running between the wickets. We did a scan today, so we are waiting for the results. At the moment he is OK,” said Hathurusinghe in the pre-match press conference on Wednesday.
“We haven’t tried bowling yet. So, he will come tomorrow morning and we will assess him again and then make a decision. If he is not ready to play, we won’t risk him. But if he’s ready, then there’s a chance of him playing tomorrow,” he added.
Hathurusingha refused to rule out that Shakib could even play solely as a batter against hosts India on Thursday.
“With any injury situation, first, it’s the medical staff. They give us their opinion, and either they say green light or red light. They give us education on where the players are at,” the coach said.
“Then it comes to the captain and the coach to think that it is a risk in terms of playing, in terms of tactically, whether if it is not 100 percent or you can do one discipline or both disciplines. That’s how the process works,” he added.
Hathurusingha’s views are very much similar to the comments made by team director Khaled Mahmud earlier in the week.
“It is the doctor and physio’s call. We don’t want to trouble him in the long term. If he gets clearance from the physio, he will play,” Mahmud had said.
The Rohit Sharma led side has won their first three matches and a victory against Bangladesh would help them put one foot already in the semi-finals.
For Bangladesh, victory would be a huge boost to their slim qualification chances. They will take confidence from a recent head-to-head record that has seen them win three of the past four meetings with India, including the most recent match at the Asia Cup 2023 last month in Sri Lanka.