Kolkata lose again
After Kolkata Knight Riders lost their second consecutive Indian Premier League game, this time a 22-run defeat at the hands of Rajasthan Royals yesterday, the uproar about Shakib Al Hasan’s inclusion has intensified among many in the country.
Having won man-of-the-tournament awards in the preceding tournaments Bangladesh Premier League T20 and the Asia Cup, it has been quite confusing to see newbies like Marchant de Lange and Sunil Narine being taken in the line-up ahead of the world’s No 1 all-rounder in Tests and ODIs, and especially perplexing to see an in-form cricketer sit out.
The social network websites like Facebook and Twitter have been abuzz with comments and speculations about the Knight Riders’ decision to bench the Tiger.
Muatasim Ornob, a Bangladeshi engineering student in Malaysia, questioned whether decision to drop Shakib was an informed one.
“The reason why Shakib [Al Hasan] was dropped even in the second game can be due to the team selector or team management’s probable lack of knowledge about his skills and capabilities,” he wrote in Facebook. “Or they have this mentality that Bangladeshi players are not that great or it can be due to some politics. This is my opinion.”
Isnaad Sharahbeel, a student at Notre Dome College reasoned that it could be the hype of Indian media that could have prompted the inclusion of rookies like Narine.
“The major reasons for Shakib’s exclusion from the eleven are a) Indian media’s over hype regarding a mediocre [player like] Sunil Narine who is still trying to find his way in international cricket.
“Underestimation of a player of Shakib’s calibre just because he belongs to a country referred to as ‘minnows’. They just cannot trust on Shakib as much as many others (for instance, Brett Lee, Jacques Kallis) no matter how much Shakib goes on to prove himself,” he said.
Md Zahidur Rahman echoed the views of Ornob and Isnaad, saying that the Kolkata franchise might now realise what they have missed.
“My simple question to the KKR team management is that are they kidding with us? When there is a man to offer you all the stuff then what is the reason to pick such an-off spinner who hardly can create any chance to give you breakthrough.
“Has Narine showed much in his T20 career? Hope there is no racial matter. After watching today’s [Sunday’s] game, I’m feeling like KKR needs to think about Shakib instead of Kallis,” he wrote in a message on Facebook.
By contrast, Tanoy Kanti Dutta dispassionately claimed that it is still Knight Riders’ decision to play him or not.
“This is very normal for any kind of club football or cricket. He is now property of the club. If the club management feels he should be dropped, it is their opinion. Now whether it is right or wrong (is) purely a cricketing decision.
“(The KKR team management) may have some things in mind… I feel Shakib is professional enough to understand this part of life. So it is useless to see this issue (from an) emotional point of view.”
However, former India batsman Aakash Chopra tweeted: “Isn’t there a case to start playing two Bangladesh cricketers — Shakib and Tamim [Iqbal]? KKR shall do it in the next game and PWI [Pune Warriors India] may do it tonight!”
Tamim did not eventually play but fans from Bangladesh in particular will hope that the bright, smiling face of Shakib be noticed.
SCORES IN BRIEF
RAJASTHAN ROYALS: 164 for 5 (Hodge 44, Menaria 40, Dravid 26, Goswami 23, Shah 23 not out; Lee 2-29)
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS: 142 (Tiwary 59, Lee 25; Cooper 3-28, Chavan 2-23, Trivedi 2-25)
Result: Rajasthan Royals won by 22 runs.
Man-of-the-match: Brad Hodge.
-With The Daily Star input