Lack of mental toughness was the problem: Mominul


Captain Mominul Haque believes Bangladesh weren't mentally prepared to take on the Indian bowling unit after they folded for 150 on the opening day of the first Test in Indore on Thursday (November 14). India ended the day on 86 for 1 and trail by just 64 at the end of a day that saw Mohammed Shami (3 for 27) tormenting the visitors with some exceptional bowling.

Mominul, who was one of the two batsmen who looked composed, has been playing a lot of four-day cricket since August, and is also habituated to playing international cricket after long breaks. But nobody else in the top and middle order could show similar patience. Mominul said it was up to every batsman to be technically and mentally prepared while facing such an attack.

"I think every bowler is bowling at 140-plus [kph], so you have to play fast bowling," he said. "There's no other choice. You have to be ready for fast bowlers. If you don't personally prepare yourself, it is your failure.

"I think we prepared well for the Test series. I played nine four-day matches in the last four or five months. This was good preparation. You can say that we didn't play against these type of bowlers. International cricket is not all about tactics and technique. It has a lot to do about mentality."

"The wicket was not unplayable in my opinion. I think we are playing against the number one bowling side in the world. We have to be mentally stronger to play against them," the Bangladesh Test captain said.

"We were mentally behind them. If the wicket was unplayable then a lot of batsmen would be hit on the body. The wicket was not unplayable. If the wicket was completely unplayable, then neither me nor Mushfiqur Rahim could have scored runs. The problem was in our decision making

With help for the pacers, Bangladesh lost their openers to Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma. Mohammad Mithun was Shami's first wicket before Mominul and Rahim collaborated to score 68 for the third wicket. While Mominul and Mahmudullah fell to R Ashwin, Shami landed the knockout blow with the wicket of Rahim before Tea. "In the international level 140kmph is the benchmark. If we can't prepare ourselves to face this sort of pace that is our failure,'' Mominul said. 

"It is not like that we are not mentally ready. I think it may sound funny to you but before starting any series you people have a big impact.

"Before the Afghanistan series, you [media] people made a hype of Rashid khan. Though we do not want to think like that bit it will come to your mind (when you talk a lot about these things). At times what happens is that I do not think about it before you ask me. But when you asked me, we started thinking about it. The human mind works in this way but I think we have to be mentally strong more at this level."

Bangladesh took a gutsy decision to bat first on a surface with a generous smattering of grass and Mominul accepted that, in hindsight, the strategy may have been misplaced.

"We were bundled out cheaply and I think it was my fault and my decision was bad. We have a mentality of playing one more batsman as we do not play three the pacers at all," he said.