Ahead of their tour of India, Bangladesh lost Shakib Al Hasan, their premier all-rounder. The ICC handed him a backdated two-year suspension, that will end after October 29, 2020. It’s a huge blow for them as the Jessore-born has been pivotal to their success over the last few years across all the formats. Mahmudullah has replaced him as the T20I skipper for the upcoming tour.
Gautam Gambhir, the former Indian cricketer, is pretty aware of the value Shakib Al Hasan brings to the fore. The Delhi-born has captained Shakib for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Shakib was a part of the Knights when they became the champions in 2012 and 2014. Without Shakib in their ranks, Gambhir feels that Bangladesh are already on the backfoot.
Cricket is a funny game: Gautam Gambhir
“One way or other, Bangladesh are already a wicket down and India are 40 without loss as that is what Shakib is worth. He was my KKR team-mate and I know what he can do on his day,” Gambhir wrote in his exclusive column for The Times of India (TOI).
Prior to the series versus the Tigers, India locked horns with South Africa. Even as the hosts drew the T20I series 1-1, they inflicted a 3-0 whitewash on the Proteas in the longest format. Gambhir reckons that the incident surrounding Shakib may end up galvanizing the Bangladesh team.
“Before this news came in I was quite certain that this will be a much closer series than the last one against South Africa was. Cricket is a funny game and this incident could end up galvanising the visiting team. Let us see,” he stated. The opening T20I will take place on Sunday in New Delhi.
Gambhir appreciates Tigers for their approach in Delhi pollution
Gambhir also lauded Bangladesh for not complaining too much about the polluted air in New Delhi. The Tigers’ players have been seen, wearing masks while attending practice sessions.
“I’d also like to congratulate Bangladesh for not making too much fuss about the pollution in the Capital. These are not ideal conditions to venture outdoors forget about playing competitive sport. So well done Tigers,” Gambhir added.
Lately, it has been learned that the match at the Arun Jaitley Stadium could also get called off due to poor visibility. Previously, Gambhir, who’s an MP from the East Delhi constituency, said that Delhi should be more concerned about the pollution than hosting a cricket match.
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