Bangladesh Test skipper Mominul Haque insisted that the upcoming Test series against Pakistan will be challenging as they will be missing several leading cricketers.
The match starts at 10:00am at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram. It's Bangladesh’s first game in the second edition of the ICC World Test Championship which will be aired by Gazi TV and T Sports.
Mominul admitted that it will be challenging to lead such a side.
“Of course, the first Test of the second cycle of the ICC Test Championship will be challenging for us,” Mominul said.
“I don’t want to call it a difficult challenge. ‘Difficult’ has a negative meaning. I don’t want to see it negatively. Tamim Bhai gives us good starts that we have often capitalised on while Shakib Bhai is two in one. Taskin has been bowling well recently,” he said.
“We are effectively missing four players. It makes my captaincy a bit more challenging but Mushfiq Bhai and I have to take on the added responsibility,” Mominul said adding that they need to focus on what they have considering they will be missing Tamim and Shakib in the upcoming New Zealand tour as well.
“Everyone wants results. Not just me. I think it is a good opportunity for the youngsters. You will get a picture of the direction our Test team is taking in this, and some of the future series. We definitely have long-term plans in Tests. We want to build slowly, and within a series or two we will know where our Test team stands,” he said.
Mominul, who is at the helm after the three-match T20s, is well aware that he needs to calm down his teammates considering the recent state of affairs.
Bangladeshi cricketers received huge criticism from everywhere due to their below-par performance in the ICC T20 World Cup followed by white-ball home series against Pakistan as the tourists cleanly swept them away, losing eight successive T20 matches.
“This is not the first time for Bangladesh as we have gone through such a phase. We have overcome such situations before too. People become mentally weak because they take the outside talk seriously,” Bangladesh captain said.
“My job is to bring back focus from thinking about what everyone is saying, and focusing on our job. We have to back each other. You cannot shut anyone’s mouth but I think you can shut off your own ears,” he said.
Mominul said that he is confident of picking 20 wickets despite missing some of the leading bowlers as he is keeping faith in the trio- Abu Jayed, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taijul Islam.
“Mustafizur (Rahman) hasn’t played a Test for a long time. Both Taskin (Ahmed) and Shoriful (Islam) are unfortunately injured. But we have to think about those who are in the squad,” he said.
“(Abu Jayed) Rahi has been our leading wicket-taker in the World Test Championship. Ebadot is also playing Tests regularly. We also have (Mehidy Hasan) Miraz and Taijul (Islam) in the squad. I have enough confidence in my bowlers. I think if we bowl well, we can take 20 wickets in this game,” he said, adding that he is confident Liton Das will bounce back in the Test series leaving behind their T20 disappointment as it will be a different format altogether.
“There’s a big difference between Tests and T20Is. When we keep mentioning T20s, it becomes difficult for me. I think Liton has overcome the (mental aspect) of it,” he said regarding Liton, who failed to make a cut in the T20 squad that played against Pakistan.
“He has averaged 45-50 in Tests in the last 12 months. I think he can handle it well. He had a mental break. Everyone is supporting him,” Mominul concluded.
Meanwhile, BCB added pace bowler Khaled Ahmed and Shohidul Islam added to the squad for the first Test.