Shakib al Hasan admitted on Monday (June 24) that it was satisfying to be at his absolute best for Bangladesh at the ICC World Cup 2019 but that he was already looking ahead at the Tigers’ remaining fixtures.
“Very satisfying (to bring my absolute best game to the tournament). It was needed. It was important from my perspective and from team. Luckily, I've been doing this and very happy with the way this tournament is going so far,” Shakib said at the post-match press conference.
“There’s still two more important matches left for us and hopefully more after that. First things first, we have a very important game coming up against India.
“They are the top side. They are a team that is looking at the title. So it's not going to be easy but having said that, we'll give our best shot.”
Bangladesh’s 62-run win over Afghanistan at Southampton meant they remained in the hunt for a semi-final spot, a win that owed a lot to Shakib’s exploits with the bat and ball.
Talking about the match, Shakib said they believed they had put more than enough runs on the board and that helped them put more pressure on the opposition.
“To be honest, we thought that we had enough runs on the board. It wasn't a wicket where a team can score 300-350. So we knew that it's always going to be difficult with the bowling attack.
“They have three quality spinners and we had to handle them well. I thought we did that pretty well. That's why we scored 260-odd runs.
“Our target was actually to bat 50 overs and get more than 240. 240 was our minimum target. I thought it was a good strategy because we wanted to bat the overs and if we get some more runs, that is something we'll take it as a bonus.
“That's exactly what happened. I think we got 20-25 more runs than what we were expecting. So that gave us enough aid to go out there and bowl Afghanistan out.
“We knew that it's not an easy wicket, so we needed to make sure we put them under pressure with dot balls, and that's exactly what we have done.”
Yet while Bangladesh can still make it to the final four, they will have to put out some fantastic performances while hoping results go their way to make it happen.
For his part, Shakib said the belief exists in the Bangladesh camp that they can get the required results in the next two matches.
“Well England have three more matches and they need to win one. We have two more matches and we have to win two. So it's difficult mathematically but having said that, in cricket anything can happen.
“It will be difficult but we have the belief that we can play well in next two matches and get the result. That's all we can do at this moment.
“We have to look at the other results as well, but first things first, we have to play two very important matches and get the results in our favour.”