In Tests since 2015, the third day has statistically proven to be a very happening day on an otherwise docile Mirpur Sher-E-Bangla pitch. It generally starts wearing and tearing a bit, patches of rough starts forming and the spinners visualise absolute field days that they might be having themselves in the remainder of the Test match.
The recent narrative around the 'bowler Shakib' has been quite bland; just like the recent pitches, he has been bowling on.
The fact that Shakib being a finger spinner who bowls a flatter trajectory, that he doesn't really extract turn or bounce off the pitch has been prevalent for a while now.
The reality of the intricacies in Shakib's left arm mastery is seldom spoken about even by the 'pundits' on post-match or pre-match shows.
To get a good idea of the chess game that Shakib plays with the batters on uninspiring pitches, one has to look no further than how he operated earlier on Wednesday morning in the first session of day three in the second Test against Sri Lanka.
Or to be precise, how he enticed the Lankan captain Dimuth Karunaratne into a false shot and uprooted his stumps with a left-arm spinner's dream delivery.
Shakib is someone who doesn't want to complicate his methods.
He keeps things simple and banks on accuracy, dot balls, and beating the batters in the air to take his wickets.
At least, that is what his recent ploy has been in the ongoing Sri Lanka series.
Shakib started off his first over of the day bowling over the wicket to Karunaratne.
Ever since the second innings of the last Test, our left-arm spinners planned on enticing Karunaratne into hitting inward spinning balls towards a packed onside field; hoping that he would make a mistake by chipping one in the air.
And that's exactly what happened the last time he batted.
How Shakib set up Karunaratne
Of the 12 deliveries he bowled to Karunaratne, six were from over the wicket while the remainder were from around the wicket.
Shakib bowled 10 dot balls and conceded two boundaries off the square cut through the offside with the 12th one being the peach of a delivery that castled him.
The build-up or the chess game if we may call it, leading up to the wicket delivery was very meticulously planned.
The first ball was a full delivery into the pads which was gently flicked off the legs.
The second and third balls were flatter, back of the length sliders which invited Karunaratne to play off the back foot in front of the square.
The magic took place in the fifth and sixth deliveries.
The fifth ball was slightly floated up and Karunaratne blocked it.
The subsequent wicket-taking delivery was slower, given a lot more air, and it fooled the living daylights out of Karunaratne.
The ball was pitched on a good length but it was the flight and drift that lured the batter into playing a forward drive towards the onside to a delivery which he should have blocked, just like the delivery before.
The beauty of the delivery was in how Shakib totally beat Karunaratne with flight.
The ball had a lot of flight and was drifting outwards which the batter expected to slide on.
The flight brought the batter out, stretched him and thus fooled him with the trajectory.
The ball spun heavily off the rough and uprooted his stumps.
The cameras focused on a happy Alan Donald as the bowling coach was seen clapping in appreciation of the delivery.
The series so far has been an example of Shakib reinventing himself with the ball and reaping its rewards.
In the first Test, we saw Shakib bowling wrist spin at times to bamboozle the Sri Lankan batters, and now this.
A clear sign of a champion cricketer and why he's been one of the best all-rounders of his generation.