In October 2010, New Zealand went to Bangladesh for five ODIs. In the first match of the series Mortaza injured his ankle and was forced to leave the field; Shakib took over, and under his leadership Bangladesh secured a nine-run victory, during which Shakib took four wickets and scored 58. Once it emerged that Mortaza would be unable to play in the rest of the series, Shakib was made captain for the remaining matches. In the fourth match Shakib scored a century and took three wickets to help his team win nine runs. Bangladesh went on to win the series 4–0, their first series victory against a full strength ICC Full Member nation. Shakib finished the series as the player with most runs and wickets on either side: 213 runs and 11 wickets.
Although Mortaza returned from injury in time for Zimbabwe’s tour of Bangladesh in December, Shakib was retained as captain for the five-match ODE series.Following his side’s defeat in the opening ODI, Shakib stated that he “was not prepared to take the job and I am also not satisfied with my role as a captain” Bangladesh went on to win the next three complete matches, with one called off due to rain, to beat Zimbabwe 3–1. Shakib was Bangladesh’s second-highest run-scorer and wicket taker for the series with 156 runs, including two-half centuries, and 9 wickets.