Bangladesh Test skipper Mominul Haque will begin the biggest challenge in his international career today, when he will lead an under-strength Bangladesh side against mighty India in their first match of the ICC Test Championship.
The India series was set to be a test of Mominul’s calibre in the five-day format away from home, as the batsman has struggled to score runs in foreign condition throughout his career.
The 28-year old has hit eight centuries in the format but all of them have come in Bangladesh, with his highest score in an away Test being 77 against South Africa in Potchefstroom in September, 2017.
Mominul’s poor show outside home soil is further evident with him averaging only 23 in 14 away Tests while averaging a stellar 53.33 in 22 home Tests.
The challenge for Mominul became even more monumental after he was handed the Test captaincy after regular skipper Sakib al Hasan received a ban from the International Cricket Council for not reporting corrupt approaches.
Mominul has no prior experience of captaining Bangladesh in any format and has limited captaincy experiences in domestic competitions and with the A team.
To do well against India in the absence of stalwarts like Sakib and Tamim Iqbal, Bangladesh desperately need Mominul to fire as a batsman but with the added responsibility of captaincy the task just got doubly hard for the batsman.
Mominul, however, tried to shrug off such thoughts by trying to take the responsibility of captaincy positively and hoped it would help bring out better performance from him.
‘I always try to be positive. Maybe with captaincy my cricketing knowledge will increase a bit. There is some responsibility too. Maybe that will help me improve. Hopefully it could help build up my performance,’ Mominul said in a pre-match press conference in Indore.
‘I will continue playing as a batsman, just like I did before having the captaincy. There is always a positive aspect to captaincy,’ he added.
Mominul also said that he was being backed by the senior campaigners Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah and the pair was helping him to lead the side.
‘The biggest positive is that both the senior players are supporting me. Everyone in the team is motivated because everyone is matured,’ he said.
Mominul also wasn’t fazed to take on the current number one ranked side in Tests as he felt that it was a big opportunity to test their skills against the toughest opponents.
‘The most positive aspect is the opportunity. We will be playing against the current number one ranked team who are good in all three departments. If we play well against them we will have an opportunity to do something good.
‘I think it all depends on how you take it mentally. I think it’s entirely a mental thing. When you play against a team like this, you have to keep everything in mind. You have to notice how everyone is batting and bowling,’ Mominul said.