Bangladesh have been unable to confirm a clean bill of health ahead of their huge match against India in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in Pune on Thursday.
Shakib Al Hasan went for a scan following Bangladesh’s defeat to New Zealand in Chennai, and his availability remains in doubt after the squad’s practice session in Pune, during which the all-rounder did not bowl.
“He had a good batting session yesterday and did a little bit of running between the wickets,” Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusinghe said on Wednesday.
“We did a scan today, so we are waiting for the results. At the moment he is OK. We haven't tried with bowling yet. So, he will come tomorrow morning and we will assess him again and then make a decision.
“If he is not ready to play, we won't risk him. But if he's ready, then there's a chance of him playing tomorrow.”
Hathurusingha refused to rule out that Shakib could even play solely as a batter against the tournament hosts.
“With any injury situation, first, it's the medical staff. They give us their opinion, and either they say green light or red light. They give us education on where the players are at," he added.
“Then it comes to the captain and the coach to think is that a risk in terms of playing, in terms of tactically, whether if it is not 100 percent or you can do one discipline or both disciplines. That's how the process works.”
That view tallies with comments made by team director Khaled Mahmud earlier in the week.
“It is the doctor and physio's call. We don't want to trouble him in the long term. If he gets clearance from the physio, he will play," he said.
Shakib has been excellent with the ball against India in recent times, taking 10 wickets in the past four meetings at an average of just 18.
But the tournament hosts aren’t focusing too much on Shakib, despite acknowledging that he’s an excellent player.
“For us really it doesn't really matter. I think for us it’s what we do in terms of our preparation, our execution and that we have a game plan,” India bowling coach Paras Mhambrey said.
“We know he is a good player. He has done well for Bangladesh, he is a champion player, he is handy, he bats for the team, he bowls well, he bowls in the Powerplay, he's a quality bowler and I think you got to give that to him.”
A win for India would leave them with four straight victories to start the tournament and with one foot already in the semi-finals due to results elsewhere.
For Bangladesh, victory would be a huge boost to their slim qualification chances, and they will take solace from a recent head-to-head record that has seen them win three of the past four meetings with India, including the most recent match at the Asia Cup back in September.