Mominul offers no excuse
Bangladesh's Mahmudul Hasan Joy is bowled by Pakistan's Hasan Ali (not pictured) during the final day of the second Test cricket match between Bangladesh and Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka on December 8, 2021. (Photo by Munir UZ ZAMAN / AFP)

Mominul since his debut as Bangladesh Test captain has led the country in 11 matches and won only two

Bangladesh cricket team’s never ending run of defeats continue.

After a dreadful experience in the T20 World Cup, the team first lost the three games in the T20I series against Pakistan at home and now conceded a whitewash in the two-match Test series against the same opponents.

They are on the receiving end of endless criticism which is amplified by the manner of the defeats.

Bangladesh Wednesday lost the second Test of the series by an innings and eight runs at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium after a horrific batting display.

The game heavily interrupted by rain and bad light could witness only a little more than two and a half days of play in which Bangladesh got bowled out twice.

Replying to Pakistan’s 300 for four declared, Bangladesh in the first innings were on 76 for seven going into the final day’s play.

The hosts first got dismissed for their fourth lowest total in the format – 87 – and then had to follow-on in the second innings before being all-out for 205 with 24 minutes to stumps.

The 13 Bangladesh wickets simply couldn’t survive the six and a half hours on day five.

There was resistance from Shakib al Hasan (33 and 63 in the two innings) and Liton Das (45 in the second innings) and a late effort from Taijul Islam – but those were simply not enough to recover the damage caused by others.

This has triggered wide discussion on Bangladesh’s batting approach in the game and whether the team have actually progressed over the years.

Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque while speaking to the media termed the defeat disappointing but defended his batters’ intent not only in the game but throughout the series.

“We had a better chance in the second innings with positive performance from Shakib bhai and Liton. But we have not been able to finish it well. I do not see any issue with the approach to be honest. The batters acted the way it was required, I did not see them being unnecessarily aggressive,” said Mominul.

“They [Pakistan] had put 300 runs on the board and we needed to reply to that. You need to play the shots and score runs, standing there defensive will not get you the runs. Yes, I admit there were some baffling dismissals including my one [in the first innings] but not all of them. Most dismissals were while playing with the spin. The story could have been different if the ball had gone for runs.

“It becomes difficult to bounce back in the game when the top three batters fail not only in Test but in all forms of cricket [including ODI and T20I]. We have some heavy work to be done in the top-order to overcome the issue. We lost seven wickets [Tuesday in the first innings] and there is no excuse for that – we simply batted bad.”

Mominul, the most successful Bangladesh batter in Tests, since his debut as the Bangladesh captain in the format has led the country in 11 matches and won only two –both coming against lower ranked Zimbabwe.

When queried if he is leading a team that knows how to play Tests, Mominul replied, “I of course think they [the team] do. Shadman [Islam] and [Nazmul Hossain] Shanto scored runs in the previous series. Mushfiqur [Rahim] has always been a performer and there is nothing at all to say about Shakib. Liton has been batting with a 50-average this year. Yes, you can question that I have not been able to score in last four innings. Taijul has been bowling really well. So, everyone is well capable. I do not agree that this team don’t know how to play Test cricket. The players are well deserving and that’s why they are in the team,” said the left-handed batsman

“The job is challenging [to lead the team]. I am sitting in this chair and doing the press conference because I took the challenge. Not everyone can take it. It is a privilege. When the team go through such situation [of not doing well] it becomes important on how you react. I retain the hope of getting to a better situation. You need to take the positives and move ahead,” said Mominul.

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