Sakib al Hasan proudly announced himself as a complete all-rounder after his 144 runs in the first innings that guided Bangladesh to a respectable 338 against Pakistan on Sunday.
Sakib had started his career as a batsman who could bowl but gradually turned into Bangladesh’s main strike bowler with his left-arm spin that often turned deceptive for batsmen.
Sakib had taken only three wickets in his first six Test matches but turned out to be a champion bowler ever since he was burdened with the responsibility of leading the attack after the retirement of Mohammad Rafiq.
He has a five-wicket haul in Test against every opposition he faced since he took up the role against New Zealand in October 2008 and has never went wicketless in a Test match until this series.
Just when his bowling form waned with his first wicketless Test in three years in Chittagong, Sakib announced himself with the bat now by hitting his second Test century in Dhaka.
‘I feel that I am turning out to be a complete all-rounder,’ Sakib quipped at the news conference after the day’s play. ‘Maybe now I have learnt to do both the things well,’ said Sakib.
Sakib learnt it the hardest way as he failed to convert his fifty into a century at least five times before this game since his maiden Test hundred against New Zealand at Hamilton.
While he had to bat for a long period with tail-enders at Hamilton, Sakib had little chance to enjoy his innings, but the all-rounder said he savoured every run of his latest innings as it came in a more challenging situation.
‘First century always has a special place. But for me this innings is more satisfying and one of the reasons is that I batted for a long period of time,’ Sakib told reporters.
‘I would rate this century ahead of my first one because I had to struggle at different stages of the game. In that innings I had to play shots because I was playing with the tail-enders and the situation was different,’ said Sakib
Sakib, who just overtook Mohammad Ashraful as Bangladesh’s leading scorer in one-day cricket, came close to breaking Ashraful’s record of highest individual innings of 158 in Test for Bangladesh against India in 2004.
But his effort ended in a mishap 14 runs adrift of the record when he was run out trying to take a single at the call of partner Mushfiqur Rahim only to be sent back from the half way.
‘It would be a lie if I say that it did not occur in the back of my mind. But frankly there was no such target that I have to score so many runs,’ said Sakib. ‘My target was to bat as long as possible and if I could bat for the whole day then maybe I could have scored a double hundred.’
‘It was satisfying that I could score runs. Nobody wants to get out and nobody feels happy after getting out and that’s why I am surely disappointed. But I am happy with the runs that I have made,’ said Sakib.
Courtesy of New Age