“We welcome him back,” Nick Pothas on Shakib Al Hasan return for Bangladesh Second Test

Shakib Al Hasan

The Interim head coach Nick Pothas opens on the return of Shakib Al Hasan for the second test match of Sri Lanka’s tour of Bangladesh 2024.

Nick Pothas on Shakib Al Hasan’s return

After missing the first test match of the home tour where Sri Lanka won the match by 328 runs, Shakib Al Hasan is set to return for the second test.

The head coach Chandika Hathurusingha has traveled back to his native due to personal reasons and Nick Pothas will be the interim coach for the upcoming test.

Shakib spent his time inspecting the pitch along with Najmul and later was seen chatting with Litton Das and Nick Pothas.

Shakib has joined the test squad after one year and his joining has made the side delighted. During the practice session, he did not bat or bowl, but completed training drills and exercises, putting more effort into the fitness aspect.

While speaking in the pre-match conference, Nick Pothas said, “I think any team that has Shakib in it is very fortunate. We welcome him back. It is always great to have him in the changing room.”

“His energy is very infectious. He has a lot of experience for the guys to learn from and whenever Shakib is back, he’s a giver. So we really enjoy having him around the group,” said Pothas.

“He’s the professional that he is. He knows what he’s done and what he hasn’t done. He will adapt to the conditions. That’s why he’s world-class,” he said.

“When Shakib comes into the group, it creates calmness. You know, it also supplies Shanto with an extra person he can get advice from. A very, very experienced person on the field he just brings calm.”

Despite suffering a defeat in the first test, Pothas backed the team and said everyone should give the young team to settle down as a team.

“We have a very young and inexperienced group. There was a very elite group before this. Now we have to build. The only thing that we request is that people are patient.

“These are very good young players, but they are young and they’re playing against an experienced team and it will take time to learn lessons. We wouldn’t expect any different from our children when we put them into new environments.

We don’t expect our kids to suddenly be experts. That’s why they go to school. So they’re a fantastic group and let’s judge them in two years rather than now,” he said.

Pothas also defended Litton mentioning that he is in good space. “We have had conversations. Litton is in a good space. The trouble that we generally have is that the pressure on Litton comes from the outside. I think if we just leave Litton to be Litton, I think he’ll show you the best of him.

“If we keep jumping on his back in the media and on social media, we forget that just because these guys are very able cricketers and they appear on television, at the root they’re still human beings. If we treat them like human beings and allow him to do what’s best for him, I promise you he’ll show you results,” said Pothas.

The second test of the Bangladesh tour is set to start on March 30 at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.