Will try to improve Bangladesh’s away record – Shakib

Shakib Al Hasan has said leading Bangladesh’s Test team should be easier now than it was in his first stint, given how settled the current group of players is. The BCB reappointed Shakib on Sunday to replace Mushfiqur Rahim following a difficult tour of South Africa.

When Shakib was captain in all formats from 2009 to 2011, Bangladesh won 23 out of 60 international matches, but only won one Test, against a second-string West Indies side in 2009. Shakib was the second-highest run-scorer and highest wicket-taker during that phase of his captaincy. This time around, Shakib feels there are more performers in the team.

“The job will be easier this time, definitely,” Shakib said. “Most of our cricketers are performing almost every time. The captain doesn’t have to do much when they are doing well. I hope everyone does well together, which will only do good to the team’s cause.”

Notwithstanding the criticism he faced as captain, Mushfiqur is Bangladesh’s most successful Test captain with seven wins, and led them to notable victories over England, Sri Lanka and Australia. Shakib said he was looking forward to taking a developing team to the next level, and hoped to improve Bangladesh’s dismal record away from home.

“It is a new responsibility,” Shakib said. “We have been doing well in Tests in the last few years, winning against England, Sri Lanka and Australia. I will try to improve upon this. It is hard to say how different this stint is going to be, but it will be important to get accustomed to the situation.

“I think we feel slightly more comfortable playing at home and since we don’t have much success outside, maybe it becomes harder. But this is also an opportunity to do well. If we can start this, why not? Someone has to do it. Although it is not going to be easy. But a lot of things are possible with the way our team has shaped up.”

Shakib said he would bank on the senior players, particularly the new vice-captain Mahmudullah whom he said has grown as a captain on his own stead.

“We have a number of team leaders, who take a collective decision,” Shakib said. “It doesn’t matter who the captain is, when we go out in the middle. We help each other out.

“[Mahmudullah] Riyad bhai has been captaining quite well in the last few years in the BPL. He always had that leadership skill. I think it will be easier for me.”

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