All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been granted a NOC (No Objection Certificate) to participate in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) but the Bangladesh star has been asked to manage his workload carefully.
Shakib, who is due to represent Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, is currently recovering from a finger injury he sustained in the Bangladesh Premier League. The injury had ruled out the southpaw from Bangladesh’s ongoing tour of New Zealand where the visitors currently trail 0-2 in the Test series.
Although Bangladesh were hopeful of Shakib making a recovery before the third against New Zealand which starts at Christchurch on Saturday, they have now been dashed with the all-rounder confirmed to miss out.
“He has got an injury and as he is recovering from it he has been advised a 10-day rest. So, he will miss the final Test against New Zealand. Following his recovery and if the doctors give him a green signal regarding his fitness, he can play any form of cricket he wants,” Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chairman of media and communication Jalal Younus was quoted as saying by the Dhaka Tribune.
With the World Cup in England coming up in a couple of months, there have been concerns over Shakib’s participation in the IPL posing a further threat to his fitness. Younus believes the board should not put any restrictions on players but has kept the option of recalling Shakib early from the IPL open.
“I think there should not be any restriction. I think the players should be allowed to play if he is fit but be careful from picking up an injury. Shakib has already been given the clearance but it might be that he will comeback after playing first few matches. But we cannot restrict a player from playing a tournament. He can always be allowed if the board think he is fit,” he stated.
The 2019 IPL gets under way on March 23 and it remains to be seen if Shakib can recover in time for the early stages of the competition.
It wasn’t the most ideal of preparations for the upcoming ICC World Cup as India fell to their first ODI series defeat at home since 2015 but skipper Virat Kohli remains unperturbed as far as the team’s combination goes.
Having been 2-0 up, India were stung hard by Australia who came storming back to clinch the five-match series 3-2. The series was India’s final international engagement before departing to England for the World Cup and as such, there was plenty riding it on for the hosts.
Kohli had chopped and changed his personnel throughout the series, especially in the final three ODIs as India looked to figure out their best possible XI for the World Cup. Despite the series loss, the India skipper is confident about the team’s combination heading into the global showpiece.
“We are more or less sorted with what we want to do,” Kohli said after India’s 35-run loss in the series decider at New Delhi.
“Now it is just about giving guys their roles and expecting them to stand up and deliver during the World Cup.
“So we are not in a confused state anymore. Just probably one spot in the team that we have to discuss, and the rest of the team is pretty much sorted for us and we have been feeling pretty much balanced.”
Australia became only the fifth side in cricket history to turn a five-match series around after being down 0-2.
While not trying to use it as an excuse, Kohli stated that India had tinkered greatly with the playing XI in the final three ODIs to give fringe players an opportunity before the World Cup.
“The last three games, the idea was to give the guys on the bench and the fringe guys a bit of game time as well and just put them in those positions and see how they react. And you couldn’t have tried that anywhere else apart from those three games,” explained Kohli.
“That is not an excuse at all because we expect to raise our standard of cricket. The changes is not an excuse. It will never be an excuse. But we used these three games to give game time to guys who we think are good enough to perform at this level,” he added.
Kohli and the Indian players will now head to their respective franchises for the Indian Premier League (IPL) which gets under way on March 23. The World Cup, meanwhile, begins in England on May 30.
The two teams are locked at 2-2 in the five-match series after India won the first two clashes before the visitors bounced back with victories in the fourth and fifth ODIs.
Australia are searching for their first bilateral ODI series win since February, 2017 while India are looking to avert their first home series defeat since the 3-2 loss to South Africa in October, 2015.
Will the visitors break their ODI rot or will the hosts preserve their dominance in the subcontinent? Find out by following the ball-by-ball action from New Delhi below.