Bangladesh excited to have Shakib back for second Test against Sri Lanka

Shakib Al Hasan returns for Bangladesh for the Chattogram Test match and will play his first red-ball game in nearly a year.

Bangladesh's interim head coach Nic Pothas is happy to have experienced all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan back in the Test squad as they prepare to recover from a heavy loss in the first match of the ICC World Test Championship series against Sri Lanka.

"I think any team that has Shakib in it is very fortunate," Pothas said.

"We welcome him back. It is always great to have him in the change room. His energy is very infectious. He has a lot of experience for the guys to learn from and whenever Shakib is back, he's a giver, and so we really enjoy having him around the group."

Skipper Shakib stars in Bangladesh win over Sri Lanka | POTM Highlights | CWC23

Player of the match highlights as Shakib Al Hasan made an impact with bat, ball and as Bangladesh captain in the victory over Sri Lanka at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023

Shakib hasn't played international cricket for a while after being diagnosed with a retinal condition in January this year. 

The head coach said that it appeared like Shakib has lost weight and was pleased with his form in the recently concluded Bangladesh Premier League.

"He's the professional that he is. He knows what he's done and what he hasn't done. He will adapt to the conditions. That's why he's world class," Pothas said.

"When Shakib comes into the group, it creates calmness. You know, it also supplies Shanto with an extra person he can get advice from. A very, very experienced person on the field he just brings calm."

Shakib Al Hasan's journey through the eight T20 World Cups | T20WC 2022

Meanwhile, he also requested patience from the fans with the young group of players in the Test squad after their big loss in Sylhet against Sri Lanka.

"We have a very young and inexperienced group," Pothas pointed out.

"There was a very elite group before this. Now we have to build. The only thing that we request is that people are patient.

"These are very good young players, but they are young and they're playing against an experienced team and it will take time to learn lessons. We wouldn't expect any different from our children when we put them into new environments. We don't expect our kids to suddenly be experts."

ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 Standings

Bangladesh are currently level with Sri Lanka in the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 Standings with one win and two losses in three Tests.

The second Test begins in Chattogram on Saturday, 30 March.

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