Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 July 2019

Cricket World Cup 2019: Bangladesh not 'one-man army' despite Shakib Al Hasan heroics

Ahead of Bangladesh's match against Australia on Thursday, captain says others have 'stepped up' as well

Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, second left, tops the Cricket World Cup run chart at the moment. David Davies / AP Photo
Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, second left, tops the Cricket World Cup run chart at the moment. David Davies / AP Photo

Shakib Al Hasan may be “exceptional’, but Bangladesh are more than a “one-man army”, according to captain Mashrafe Mortaza.

Shakib tops the run-scorer charts at the Cricket World Cup, having made two centuries and two half-centuries so far.

His side now face Australia, at Trent Bridge on Thursday, with a win seemingly vital if they are to make it to the semi-finals.

Mortaza says his side believe they can topple the defending champions, and is hoping more can make the sort of contributions that the side’s star player has been doing.

“I wouldn't say we’re a one-man army,” Mortaza said. “Shakib is scoring runs. That's a great thing for the team, but if you look at it, the other boys have stepped up.

“If someone is scoring a hundred, he will take all the cameras and media to him.

“But he is exceptional. Shakib is exceptional. He's playing at his best at the moment.

"We really appreciate what Shakib is doing, and with that, a few other bowlers, what they've been doing, it will be carried on from here.”

Mortaza is the only player on either side still remaining from when Bangladesh famously gained their first-ever win over Australia, at Cardiff in a one-day international in 2005.

That remains their only win in 20 ODIs against the Australians, but Mortaza is optimistic of a repeat.

“It's a long time, 14 years,” Mortaza said. “And it was in this country. I think a lot has changed. I know a few players in our dressing room believe we can beat anybody.

“Against Australia, it won't be easy, for sure, especially with the form they're in. It won't be easy.

"But these boys can believe. Let's see. We'll fight, and you never know.”

Alex Carey, the Australia wicketkeeper, said his side have done “no extra planning” for Shakib, but are aware of the threat he poses.

“Bangladesh are playing some really good cricket at the moment and it's led by Shakib,” Carey said.

“I think he’s in career-best form. We know the areas and line and length we want to bowl to him, and we'll assess the conditions as well.

“We normally have our plans going into every game and we assess each player accordingly.

“In terms of what we're going to bowl, we leave that up to the bowlers and the captain to do that, but we'd love to get him out early.

“We've watched a lot of vision of the Bangladesh side, but in every game, there's little curve balls that come up.

"It's up to the players to really problem solve out in the middle.”

Updated: June 19, 2019 07:47 PM

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