Shakib Al Hasan’s unexpected response to Virender Sehwag’s criticism

Bangladesh’s star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan commented on former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag’s criticism following his match-winning knock against the Netherlands in the 27th match of the T20 World Cup 2024. The match took place on June 13, Thursday at  Arnos Vale Ground, Kingstown, St. Vincent.

The former Bangladesh captain scored an unbeaten half-century of 64 runs from 46 balls (including 9 fours) that helped his team post a competitive score of 159-5 in 20 overs. Also, the bowlers performed their job well to restrict the Netherlands to 134-8 in 20 overs. 

Ahead of his match-winning innings against the Netherlands, Shakib Al Hasan was in poor form as he scored only 69 runs from 6 innings in T20Is in 2024 and maintained a very low average of 11.50 along with taking only 6 wickets from 8 innings.

Despite his poor form, Shakib’s comparison with legends like Matthew Hayden and Adam Gilchrist made Sehwag furious and posed questions about his position in the team for the upcoming matches.

Virender Sehwag’s criticism about Shakib Al Hasan’s poor form

Previously, Virender Sehwag suggested Shakib Al Hasan should opt for retirement based on his poor form in recent times:

“Never expected like this before. Being an experienced player and captain before, your stats aren’t impressive. You should be ashamed of yourself and just announce that you will be retiring soon from the T20 format. If you’re comparing yourself with Matthew Hayden or Adam Gilchrist, who are experts in executing pull shots off a short ball, then you should spend some time at this wicket. But, you’re just a normal cricketer from Bangladesh and behave according to your standards.

During the previous year’s ODI World Cup, I thought that he shouldn’t be selected for the T20 format. You should be ashamed of your recent scores and come forward to announce yourself that enough is enough, I’m stepping away from this format ”, said Virender Sehwag while speaking on Cricbuzz.

The former Indian opening batsman openly criticizes Shakib Al Hasan’s failure and his inability to shoulder enough responsibility with the bat.

Shakib Al Hasan’s response to Virender Sehwag’s criticism

During the post-match press conference of the Bangladesh vs Netherlands match, Shakib Al Hasan responded to Virender Sehwag’s remarks by pretending to be unknown who made the comments:

“What! Who ( indirect response to Virender Sehwag)? A cricketer never comes forward to answer any questions. Rather, it is the job of a player to bat for their team, if he is a batter and makes an effective contribution. In the case of a bowler, his job is to bowl well and grab as many wickets as possible, which depends upon luck. If he is a fielder, he should give his 100% effort to save every run and take catches accurately. Here, there’s nothing else to answer for anyone. I strongly believe that a current player gets a high level of importance based on his contribution to the team.

It is a fact that I haven’t been anxious about my performance. Moreover, I don’t feel that I have ever thought about this in my career. It makes me feel good if I can contribute the best to my team. As mentioned earlier, today is my day, but someone else’s day might come in the next match” said Shakib Al Hasan.

Conclusion

Shakib Al Hasan had a miserable start to the ongoing T20 World Cup. He wasn’t able to grab a single wicket in his first three matches against Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the Netherlands. In terms of his batting performance, the 37-year-old all-rounder scored just 8 and 3 runs in the first two games, which forced Sehwag to criticize the senior cricketer.

When Shakib was asked about Sehwag’s criticism during the post-match press conference; he interrupted the question by asking “who”, which was an indirect way of counterattacking the former Indian cricketer’s harsh comments.

The Bangladeshi senior all-rounder responded to the question smartly by explaining that a player’s responsibility is not to respond to criticism surrounding them. However, Shakib understood Sehwag’s point of view and pointed out that these discussions regarding his form with the bat and ball as well as his position in the team are routine in every cricketer’s life. This is because Shakib Al Hasan accepts the fact that his performance was below average in the opening two games.

Finally, Bangladesh is inching closer to the Super 8s and a win against Nepal will officially guarantee their qualification. On the other side, a loss for Najmul Hossain Shanto’s led side would result in expecting Sri Lanka to defeat the Netherlands, which could pave the way for Bangladesh into the subsequent rounds.