A talented left-hand batsman and left-arm spinner, Shakib Al Hasan is unarguably the best cricketer that Bangladesh have ever had. As a bowler, he is accurate, consistent, and canny; and his aggression and a wide range of strokes are the keys to his batting. Even more importantly, he has self-belief an excellent temperament, unflustered by the big occasion and ready to do battle against the top teams. He plays for Karachi Kings in Pakistan Super League.
The best of his ability and temperament were on display in his first Test as captain, against a weakened West Indies side in Grenada, when Shakib took eight wickets and scored an unbeaten 96 in a tense but successful fourth-innings run-chase of 215, leading Bangladesh to their first overseas series victory. In only his fourth Test as captain, Shakib scored 87 and 100 – his maiden Test century – in a losing cause against New Zealand in Hamilton, performances that offered further proof of his skill and his ability to handle pressure. And the same opponents in 2008, Shakib had taken 7 for 36 in Chittagong, only the second instance of a Bangladesh bowler taking seven or more wickets in a Test innings.