IPL Auction 2021: Shakib Al Hasan, back from ban, returns to his IPL "home" team
Shakib Al Hasan is back. In the IPL and at Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for whom he played from 2011 to 2017 winning two titles. Shakib, whose base price was ₹2 crore, was bought by KKR for ₹3.20 crore after Punjab Kings evinced interest in the all-rounder.
“I am very excited to be part of Kolkata again,” said Shakib in a video message shared by KKR. Speaking in Bengali, Shakib said: “I will do my best to get the results of 2012 and 2014 when we were champions.”
Serving a two-year ban, one of which was suspended, after admitting to breaching ICC’s Anti-corruption Code, Shakib missed IPL13. He played in the Bangabandhu T20 Cup and then for Bangladesh in three ODIs and a Test against West Indies after his return. He took 4/8 in the first ODI, hit an unbeaten 43 and took 2/30 in the second and scored 51 in the third. In the Test earlier this month, Shakib scored 68.
With Kuldeep Yadav’s form going south since Moeen Ali hit the wrist spinner for 27 in his final over at Eden in 2019, Shakib can be a handy back up. That’s because with Eoin Morgan leading the team, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins are likely to be the first foreigners on the list along with Sunil Narine. Shakib may struggle to break into the 11. It was like that in 2017 but that was because Indian spinners were doing well. But if Narine, who has had issues with his action, isn’t available, Shakib can step in. Like Narine, he can bowl in the power play. Given KKR’s propensity for left-field opening choices, Shakib may not be a bad gamble at the top of the order as well.
Shakib can be handy in the middle-order too. He and Manoj Tiwary helped KKR over the line in the 2012 final having taken the wicket of Suresh Raina earlier. In the 2014 final, Shakib bowled four overs for 26 runs and made a seven-ball 12 when KKR successfully chased 200.
Shakib moved to Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2018 and played two seasons for them including the final in 2018. He has played 63 games, taking 59 wickets and scoring 746 runs including two half-centuries in the IPL. Playing three finals and having led Bangladesh means Shakib can be part of the KKR leadership group; but he may not be available for the entire IPL because of Bangladesh’s international engagements.