Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan
Bangladesh's Shakib Al Hasan waves to the fans as he walks off the pitch after winning the match against West Indies at The County Ground in Taunton,. Image Credit: AFP

London: Shakib Al Hasan is not just the hero of the Bangladesh team but fast emerging as the star of the World Cup too. Former cricketers are lauding him for his all-round skills and he has been instrumental in Bangladesh’s impressive show so far in the tournament.

After emerging as the Man of the Match in the 62-run win over Afghanistan at Southampton, an elated Al Hasan said: “This has been very satisfying for us ... in fact much needed. It was important from my perspective and from the team. We are very happy with the way this tournament is going so far. Two important matches still left now and we have the first one coming up against India. They are the top side and looking to take the title. So it’s not going to be easy but having said that, we’ll give it our best shot.”

Talks about their best shot, the experience and the memories of having beaten India in 2007 World Cup comes as a big boost to him and the team. However, Al Hasan is also aware that history will not be enough for them to beat India. “Experience will help, but experience is not the end of the world,” he said. “We have to play our best cricket in order to be able to beat India. They have world class players who can take the matters in their own hand. But I believe we too are a capable team.”

Al Hasan is happy that he has come for the tournament well prepared and that is helping him. “Although I had put in a lot of effort before the start, I never felt that I had a point to prove,” he said. “I don’t rank my performances at all, but it is very satisfying when I’m able to contribute both with the ball and bat rather than just with the ball or bat.”

Now he hopes for his team to make it to the semi-final stage. “We know its tough. But we have two more matches and need to win both,” he said. “While it may seem difficult, we know anything can happen in cricket. We have the belief that we can play well in next two matches and get the desired result. Well, the results of the other teams also matter. From our side we will work hard to get the two results in our favour.”

Afghanistan’s spirited show has impressed Al Hasan.

“We were never sure about beating Afghanistan since they’re dangerous and a very good side,” he added. “So we had to ensure that we give 100 per cent. In the end, the result will take care of itself. They had three quality spinners who needed to be handled well and I think we did pretty well at that. That’s why we scored 260-odd runs. It wasn’t an easy wicket, so we had put them under pressure with dot balls.”

Top run-getters (After Monday’s matches)

476: Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh (6 innings)
447: David Warner, Australia (6)
424: Joe Root, England (6)
396: Aaron Finch, Australia (6)
373: Kane Williamson, New Zealand (4)
327: Mushfiqur Rahim, Bangladesh (6)
320: Rohit Sharma, India (3)
270: Eoin Morgan, England (5)
244: Virat Kohli, India (4)
244: Steve Smith, Australia (6)