Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Shakib Al Hasan is watched by Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper Shreevats Goswami as he plays a shot during the IPL Twenty20 cricket match at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. AFP Photo/Dibyangshu Sarkra
The world's top-ranked all-rounder warmed the bench for the first two matches, which Kolkata Knight Riders lost. But having finally made his mark, Shakib Al Hasan has given reason for his fans at home in Bangladesh to warm up to IPL.
If being ignored for the first two matches left the player upset, he did not show it after playing a key role with the ball in the home victory over the Rajasthan Royals. While maintaining that it was the coach and captain's prerogative to decide the final line-up, Shakib felt he should have batted on to see KKR home on Friday.
"It's disappointing not being able to finish the match. I know what I'm capable of and should have done that," he said after the match. Aussie pace spearhead Brett Lee was not picked on Friday. With the summer slowly taking the life out of Indian pitches, such decisions could come to effect more often.
To Knights' benefit
KKR stand to benefit as Shakib's left-arm spin fits the bill perfectly. He generally bowls flat and adheres to an accurate line and occasionally gives the ball some air. Under Shakib's captaincy, Bangladesh beat England in the World Cup last year. And his performances helped the team reach the Asia Cup final.
It's beginning to look better for Shakib with KKR after featuring in just half of their games in the last edition. "I haven't had a chance to check but I'm sure people back in Bangladesh would be happy with my performance," said Shakib.