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Steve Rhodes rates Shakib Al Hasan as Bangladesh's best captain tactically

Saif Hasnat
ANALYST
Exclusive
366   //    02 Nov 2018, 12:19 IST

Steve Rhodes and Shakib Al Hasan during a chat in Dhaka
Steve Rhodes and Shakib Al Hasan during a chat in Dhaka

Ahead of the two-match Test series against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes said that Shakib Al Hasan, who has been ruled out from the series due to injury, is tactically the best captain in the country.

The Tigers and Zimbabwe are all set to battle each other in whites from 3 November at Sylhet International Stadium. They locked horns in three one-dayers before the Tests, where Zimbabwe lost all the matches.

Bangladesh's one-day prowess was far too superior for the tourists. Imrul Kayes, the left-handed opener, was the architect of the hosts' series win as he smashed 349 runs, which is the record for most runs in a three-match series for Bangladesh.

Bangladesh played the one-day series under the captaincy of Mashrafe Mortaza. But in the Tests, they will play under Mahmudullah Riyad as the regular captain Shakib is unavailable.

Mahmudullah led the Tigers earlier this year when Shakib was out due to injury during Bangladesh's home Test series against Sri Lanka.

Before the Test series begins, Bangladesh coach Steve Rhodes was asked what he thought about Mashrafe, Shakib and Mahmudllah as captains.

Rhodes started his stint as Bangladesh coach during their last West Indies tour, where he saw them suffer two heavy Test defeats against the hosts. Shakib was the captain of the Bangladesh team at the time, and Rhodes backed him to lead the team during the T20I series against the same opponent.

On that same tour of the West Indies, Rhodes worked with Mashrafe as captain too, in the ODIs. And this time around, he is about to receive a new experience of working with a third captain - Mahmudullah.

"I found Shakib as a brilliant captain to work with, and he is the best tactical captain I have worked with. He has some strengths that I am learning from," Rhodes said.

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"Mash (Mashrafe Mortaza) is a wonderful guy to work with. He is different from Shakib, and he plays with a lot of passion and pride. Not that Shakib doesn’t, but Mash shows it. He expects a lot from the players and gets a lot out of them as well," he added.

"Now (Mahmudullah) Riyad is a new captain and my third one. We had a short meeting regarding ideas on selection. I have another meeting with Riyad and the analyst," Rhodes said when asked about Mahmudullah's potential as skipper.

While Mashrafe has led Bangladesh in 96 matches across the formats, Shakib has captained them in 75 contests. Mashrafe has recorded 49 wins, and Shakib 27. Meanwhile Mahmudullah has led Bangladesh in four matches and recorded only one win.

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Saif Hasnat
ANALYST
Covering cricket in Bangladesh since 2013. Apart from being a Cricket Reporter, he writes lyrics and stories.
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