DHAKA, Sri Lanka skipper Demuth Karunaratne admitted that they are hugely benefitted by the absence of Shakib Al Hasan in Bangladesh team.
The hosts had already clinched the three-match ODI series by winning the first two matches at the margin of 91 runs and seven wickets.
According to Karunaratne, Bangladesh paid the price of not having Shakib al Hasan, who opted to skip the tournament for personal reasons, considering it had played a big impact on the balance of their team.
The main thing was Shakib [Al Hasan], he played a huge role. I think that's why we felt that without Shakib they may struggle a little to balance the side.
I think we also lifted our game after the World Cup, we have been playing as a team, with high confidence, and I think that's why we have done so well, Karunaratne told the reporters ahead of the third match in Colombo on Tuesday.
If you take the World Cup Bangladesh did really well because of Shakib and Mushfiqur, those are the two batsmen that carried them through the World Cup. They batted really well and kept scoring big runs, and the team was as a result scoring 250, 300-plus, he said.
Once Shakib isn't there they have to fill that hole in both the bowling and batting, I can't see anyone who can replace him. And at that time they had to bring in two players for the batting and bowling, and that's why they couldn't balance the side and struggled as a result, he added.
Shakib scored 606 runs and picked 11 wickets in the World Cup, to create some unique records. Mushfiqur who made 367 runs in World Cup, also have been amongst runs in Sri Lanka, hitting 67 and 98 not out in the first matches.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)