Saturday, 22 January, 2022

Shakib's return boosts us ahead of second Test: Mominul

Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque oozed with confidence to give Pakistan a tough fight in the second and final Test match, starting Saturday, buoyed by the return of the ace allrounder Shakib Al Hasan.

Mominul said Shakib's return would help them to go with the combination they are comfortable with.

The home side was swept by 3-0 in the Twenty20 International series and then lost the first Test by eight wickets, despite taking a 44-run lead.

Shakib missed all of the matches due to his hamstring injury, sustained during the Twenty20 World Cup.

The southpaw was included into the first test squad but was left out at the eleventh hour after failing to pass the fitness test.

"For me, as a captain, everything gets easier when Shakib is around," Mominul Haque said, underlining the allrounder's importance in the team.

"Everything is fine with him at this moment. You know he is a player with two in one. He is such a player who can give us the combination we are comfortable with. We now can return to our traditional combination of four bowlers and seven batsmen."

At the same time, Mominul is eagerly waiting for the fitness report of fast bowler Taskin Ahmed, who was left out of the first Test squad due to an injury in his right hand sustained during the third T20 against Pakistan.

Bangladesh pace bowling came unstuck in the first test, claiming just two wickets, comparing to Pakistan fast bowlers who had 16 wickets.

Mominul said Taskin's raw pace was severely missed in the flat deck in Chattogram.

"We have to assess his condition tomorrow before the toss. But since New Zealand series is coming up, I don't think we'll take any risk with him."

Bangladesh's top order failed in both innings of the first test, being reduced to 49-4 and 39-4, which also played a key role in the defeat.

Mominul said it is imperative to learn from the mistakes if the home side wants to end the losing streak against Pakistan in this format.

"The first hour of the Test cricket is always important but unfortunately our top order collapsed in the first hour in both innings of the first test," he said.

"I think everyone is now aware of how important the first hour is. Our main strength is our batting. We have to bat at least six sessions to put pressure on Pakistan bowlers. We are here to win the game, so we hope we'll come back strongly."