Having clinched a series whitewash over West Indies following an astonishingly dominant victory by an innings & 184 runs on a turner at Mirpur, skipper Shakib Al Hasan expressed delight and said that he is extremely satisfied with the progress Bangladesh is making in Test cricket.
On the back of Shadman Islam (76), Shakib Al Hasan (80), Mahmudullah (134), Liton Das (54) and some other valuable contributions throughout the vigil, the hosts piled on a mountain of runs to reach 508 all out in the first innings.
Before the increasingly threatening trio of Shakib himself, as well as Taijul Islam and Mehdi Hasan Miraz, turned the ball sharply against ill-equipped batsmen and simply ran through the visitors inflicting disappointing collapses of 111 and 213 in just 96 overs across the two innings combined.
Stating his "demanding" approach has worked wonders for the players around him, Shakib said, "It is not like replying them but there is an advantage of playing at home and away series. We could take advantage of playing at home. After losing that way we had something to prove at least in our own backyard," before reaffirming, "To be honest I was very demanding because I wanted to achieve something badly. I am happy that team management and players also believed we could do it."
"I don't think anyone expected the way we performed in West Indies [in Test] though we did well in the shorter formats, we wanted to do something like this so that people could understand that they have taken home advantage and we took it at our own backyard," he added.
It was only ripe that Dhaka saw Bangladesh's first act of enforcing follow-on at the highest level, as the Tigers became the only Asian side to have whitewashed West Indies home and away (in 2009) in Test Cricket, so far.
"We have played more than 100 Test but for the first time we did something like this," Shakib said, "It's not a fact we did not play against small teams but we failed to earn anything similar so I feel this is a big achievement," and emphasized, "We did not whitewash any team who were higher in rank at home so this series has given us a lot. I think that [Bangladesh's 2-0 Test series win in the West Indies] was the start and this is the testament that we are on the right track."
"That series [in 2009] was a turning point in our cricket as we started to believe that we can win. But this one is naturally special."
Shakib also thanked head coach Steve Rhodes for urging him to play the first Test despite not feeling the best mentally, since his return to the team after a long and painful injury lay off.
"I was not keen to play initially but our coach told me to play because he felt that I would gain match fitness through playing matches. Perhaps I am the only player to gain match fitness through playing matches," he signed off.
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)