Mominul Haque was not fazed by the criticism he faced as a Test captain following Bangladesh’s dismal result in the longer version format.
Bangladesh won just three matches--two against Zimbabwe and one against New Zealand-- out of 15 under his captaincy. The first win on New Zealand soil was a landmark achievement but Bangladesh’s performance is increasingly showing that the win was a fluke.
The Tigers indeed lost some of the Tests under his captaincy which they are favourite to win. They lost two Tests against a severely depleted West Indies at home soil last year when they were supposed to win those two matches with ease.
The same case happened against South Africa in their latest tour. South Africa were without their seven first choice players and since Bangladesh were high on confidence following their first ODI series victory on Proteas den, they were also supposed to win the Test series.
But Bangladesh capitulated against the South African spinners-Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer, who took 29 wickets between them out of possible 40. Mominul’s own form was also alarming, he scored just 13 runs with willow, which is lesser than the wickets (16) Maharaj got in this series.
“Pressure will grip any captain of the world, if he can't deliver the result. Look at Root (Joe Root-England captain)... He had already scored six of seven centuries but since his team was not winning, he has been in severe pressurized situation,” Mominul said at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Wednesday as the first batch of the Bangladesh cricket team returned home from South Africa.
The second and third groups of players will be returning to the country on Thursday at 8:55am and 4:45pm respectively.
“Captaincy is such thing that if you can’t perform, pressure must grip you and you have to have the mentality to take pressure at this level. So, I’m not worried about it. I am representing a country, so, I have to take pressure.”
Since taking over the captaincy in 2019, Mominul scored 901 runs in 15 Tests at an average of 34.65. Before he became captain his batting average was 41.47. The decline of this average clearly showed that the burden of captaincy affected his batting also.
Experts believed as he can’t inspire the team with his own performance, Bangladesh’s situation got alarming day by day.
But Mominul said the high expectation on Test team following the New Zealand victory caused the problem.
“I don’t think the situation is alarming. The expectation was high. You people thought that we became a No.1 team after New Zealand victory. But that’s a wrong thinking. In ODI cricket, Bangladesh are a stable team but in Test, Bangladesh were never a stable team. So, what you said is not right...the situation is not alarming, rather we are still in a place, where we have been.”
Mominul further said that there is no ending of improvement in Test cricket.
“We have won the ODI series, which was a huge positive sign. But if you talk about Test cricket, there is no ending of improvement. Test is not like ODI cricket. It is five-day cricket and you have to do well in all departments over the five days. You have to win the sessions,” he remarked.
“Whatever the result is... there is room to learn and improvement. We need to know how to dominate the sessions, how to bounce back from a cornered situation, how to bowl with new ball and old ball... we are learning from every series and we need to rectify those mistakes. We need to know how to execute our plan well also,” he concluded.