Anybody can lose heart at that stage and so did Shakib Al Hasan. The Tigers after all had never defeated these giants in Test.
Bangladesh were feeling the pressure as David Warner and Steve Smith kept the tourists cruising with a solid partnership before close on Tuesday.
As pressure mounted, a dispirited Shakib needed solace. And he found it in the words of his wife Umme Ahmed Shishir.
“If anyone can do it, Shakib you are the one who can,” she told the top allrounder.
These words raised his spirits and, on Wednesday, Shakib produced a decisive show that paved the way for Bangladesh’s maiden Test victory over Australia and returned as the Man-of-the-Match.
He not only ended the dangerous stand crafted by Warner and Smith, worth 130 runs, but also took both of them out in an eventful morning session.
The 30-year-old ace allrounder finished with 5-85 in the second innings to follow up the 5-62 from the first, which were complemented by the crucial 84 in a match defining 155-run first-innings partnership with Tamim Iqbal.
“My biggest inspiration is my wife, she keeps cheering me on. For instance she just sent me a message saying, ‘I can sleep now’. These words are really helpful,” Shakib said after the match.
“When we talked last night, I told her ‘I don’t think we have much of a chance. Both of them are set batsmen, they need around 150 runs’,” he continued.
Photo: Facebook/ Shakib Al Hasan
“But she told me, ‘If anyone can do it, Shakib you are the one who can. If you can take five wickets, that sets the match for us’.
“Then I began thinking and I realised that she’s right. If I can take five wickets, it’ll turn the odds in our favour. A couple of wickets from the other end will seal it. These assurances are really important.”
Having put up a performance worthy of his status as the world’s top-ranked allrounder in all formats, Shakib also paid tribute to the huge home crowd cheering them on at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
“The audience here today, they put their faith in us. Australia had eight wickets left, but the crowd held on to their belief and that’s why they arrived at the ground. If they trust us, why shouldn’t we do the same?”
“We could’ve lost, may be by 5, 6 or 7 wickets. But continuing the effort is important. The fact that everyone is giving that effort is the best example of the change within the team.”
This change Shakib is talking about has brought about the brilliant triumph over the Aussies.