Bangladesh and Kolkata Knight Riders all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is all ready to face Mumbai Indians in the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), which is slated to start on April 9.
Shakib has already joined the Kolkata team who are now having a practice camp in Mumbai. Before joining the camp, Shakib had a seven-day quarantine.
Kolkata's IPL will begin with their encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad on April 11 in Chennai. They will face Mumbai Indians in their next game on April 13 at the same venue.
While talking to ESPNcricinfo recently, Shakib said he was waiting to face Mumbai in this IPL. "The team I am most looking forward to facing in this IPL is Mumbai.
"I would also love to face English pacer Jofra Archer who was slated to play for Rajasthan Royals," Shakib said. Jofra, however, is uncertain for this IPL, and the all-rounder said in the absence of Jofra, he would love to face Patt Cummins in the nets who is also playing for Kolkata.
This IPL is like a homecoming for Shakib as he returned to Kolkata after two years. In the last season, Shakib was out of cricketing activities due to a ban imposed on him by the International Cricket Council for failing to report corrupt approaches. Before that, the all-rounder played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2019.
Shakib was a part of Kolkata when they won two IPL titles. He said his best memory in IPL came in 2014 when he performed well with the bat and ball and Kolkata won the title. The Bangladesh all-rounder scored 227 runs and bagged 11 wickets in that season of IPL.
The all-rounder believes that the team's strongest side in this IPL is their bowling line-up. "I think we've covered all the area well."
"Namely, I believe the bowling department is the strongest part of our team. This bowling attack can win the IPL for Kolkata."
However, Shakib had some tough time off the field recently due to choosing IPL over Bangladesh's tour to Sri Lanka for a two-match series.
He applied to the Bangladesh Cricket Board to allow him to play IPL and skip the tour. The board accepted his request.
However, the board also said Shakib was reluctant to play Tests. But he did not say so.