Hyderabad: There is no bigger compliment for a fast bowler if one of opposition's key batsman terms his spell as "unplayable" and that's exactly what Shakib Al Hasan felt about India pacer Umesh Yadav's morning spell on day three of the one off Test here.
Umesh bowled a nine over spell on a barren track in the morning where he beat Shakib, a number of times, with his pace and swing.
"There was nothing much in the pitch. Because we play in KKR, I know him (Umesh) very well. Probably, this was the best spell I have faced in my Test career. He was moving the ball both ways and some of the deliveries were unplayable. The best I could do was to hit the deliveries that I could and the ones I couldn’t, I tried not to nick it. I was lucky that I survived that spell," said Shakib, who made a counter-attacking 82 in Bangladesh's 303 for 6.
The all-rounder termed the wicket as a good one to bat on and save one unplayable spell from Umesh, nothing much was happening.
"No, I think the wicket is still really good on the third day. We always knew that ball turns and there is help for spinners in India but that is not happening. Apart from that one unplayable spell, we managed to cope. As of now, the wicket is good but tomorrow is a new day. Let's see what happens."
Elaborating how he coped with Umesh?s deliveries, he said: "I played with soft hands and made sure that I didn’t nick it."
The shot that brought about his dismissal has been criticised but Shakib said he will not change his "natural game".
"Just for this (shot) I am not going to change my style of play. I know if I change it, I don’t think I will be Shakib. That’s my way of thinking," he answered smugly. "Well, if you look at my innings throughout the innings, I was playing shots. That one I didn’t connect well and that’s all I can say. I was playing the way I have been playing for the last five six years."
Shakib also agreed that spinners were not getting much help from the wicket.
"When I was facing spinners, obviously to me, it was a good wicket. It wasn’t helping spinners that much. I know I can be positive and I can move my feet. I was trying to be as positive as I can and look to score runs rather than just blocking balls."
On match situation, Shakib said that India still have their nose ahead in this game.
"Obviously, India is on the front foot. We have to play really well in the first two hours first session tomorrow. That's the key part how well we play if we can score 100 to 120, I think we will be in a very good shape then. But at this moment, we are still way behind."...