Bangladesh’s legendary all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan publicly criticized his captain, Najmul Hossain Shanto, following their loss to India in the Super 8 stage of the T20 World Cup 2024. Shakib expressed his disagreement with Shanto’s decision to field first after winning the toss in Antigua on Saturday, June 22.

Shanto’s choice surprised many, including Indian captain Rohit Sharma, who had indicated he would have chosen to bat first. The decision backfired as Bangladesh’s bowlers struggled to contain the Indian batsmen, allowing them to set a formidable total.

India got off to a flying start with openers Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli adding 39 runs in just 3.4 overs. Rohit scored a quick 23 off 11 balls before falling to Shakib Al Hasan. Virat Kohli (37 off 28), Rishabh Pant (36 off 24), and Hardik Pandya (50 off 27) propelled India to a daunting total of 196 runs in their 20 overs.

Reflecting on the 50-run defeat, Shakib noted that batting first has generally been the more successful strategy in the Caribbean. He pointed out that, apart from rare exceptions like England’s chase of 180, teams batting first have typically dominated.

Shakib Al Hasan Critical Of Bangladesh Captain Shanto

“Personally, if you ask me, in the Caribbean, it’s usually one or two games – like when England chased that 180. Other than that, batting first has been the trend for most teams, and they have been very successful. So, if you look at the stats, I think, yeah, ideally you would have batted first, but maybe the captain and coach thought otherwise,” Shakib remarked.

When questioned about his involvement in the decision to field first, Shakib clarified that he was not consulted. He suggested that the strategy might have been to restrict India to a manageable total, providing a clear target for Bangladesh’s chase.

“We thought that we could restrict them in a reasonable way so that there is a score in our head, and we know how we should go about when we bat. So maybe that’s the reason we decided to field first. No, I don’t have any part or role in this,” Shakib Al Hasan explained.

With losses to both Australia and India, Bangladesh’s hopes of progressing in the tournament are slim. They face Afghanistan in their final Super 8 match at the Arnos Vale Ground in Kingstown, St Vincent, on Tuesday, June 25.

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