After the indefinite suspension of IPL, most of the members including players & coaching staff have moved back to their native places. With uncertainty looming on the remainder of IPL season, the focus of all the players is now shifting towards preparing for their respective bilateral series.
Many teams have started preparing early with return of their star players from IPL. Bangladesh team management has already begun their preparation for a 3-match ODI home series scheduled to commence from May 23 against Sri Lanka. A report from Bangladesh Cricket confirmed that KKR all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who was seen donning KKR colors in the truncated IPL will now be in action for the national side. They also confirmed his return disclosing his batting position for the upcoming series.
However, the Bangladesh Cricket Board Chief, in a recent interaction with ESPN Cricinfo, said, "He [Shakib] will bat at three against Sri Lanka (in the ODI's). That [No.3] is the best place for him and we feel he will have the time to settle down before launching in the middle". "He also wants to bat there [at three] and so we felt we should give him that opportunity," he added.
Notably, the left-hander has batted in 23 innings at no.3 and scored 1177 at an average of 58.85 with two hundred & 11 half-centuries.
In IPL, Shakib played 3 matches from 7 and managed to score only 38 runs. It will be good to see him bat one down against Sri Lanka as he averages close to 60 at the position. He possesses the ability to score big, and a 50-over game will give him time to settle first, then steadily build through the innings.
Earlier, even before the series against West Indies, Bangladesh skipper had clarified, "We had a clear message to him [Shakib] when we started our camp and I privately spoke to him on this [about his batting at four] and he understood the team plan and took it positively".
"This will also create a breathing space for him [Shakib]. He is coming back [to international cricket] after a long time. We all know and are aware of how well he has been at number three. He is happy to bat at number four and I have told him he can go back to bat at three anytime he feels like," he added.