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‘Victory over NZ to keep legacy of Test cricket’

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 6 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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‘Victory over NZ to keep legacy of Test cricket’
Bangladesh batsmen Mominul Haque (second left) and Mushfiqur Rahim celebrate the victory in the first Test against New Zealand at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Wednesday. – AFP PHOTO

Bangladesh Test skipper Mominul Haque said on Wednesday that their historic Test win against New Zealand was badly needed to keep the legacy of longer-version cricket alive in the country.

Bangladesh can consider their eight-wicket win over New Zealand in the two-match series opener as their biggest achievement so far considering they were clearly underdogs ahead of the series.

 The Tigers had previously faced New Zealand at their own backyard in nine Tests, 16 ODIs and seven T20Is but failed to win any one of them before the recently-ended Test.

 The dominating win also helped them take an unassailable 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series and gain 12 World Test Championship points.

“I can’t express my feeling in words as it is unbelievable. To be honest, I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about what will happen today. We needed to win this Test match to keep the legacy of Test cricket (in our country),” Mominul told reporters after the match. “I think this is an indication that we are improving as a Test nation. After the Pakistan series, everyone was eager to do well in the Test and it was reflected in all three departments. Everyone helped each other and the coaching staff was extremely supportive.

“Mushfiq bhai was the most experienced and he was mostly involved and had spoken with me a lot. He is a very emotional guy and helped me a lot as I’m a young captain. We get the result when we play as a team and that is important.

“For the last two years, we couldn’t do well in Tests. It’s a result of team performance. We performed well in all three departments. The bowlers did extremely well in the first innings by exploiting the moisture while they did well in the second innings as well. The batsman did extremely well too.

“Having no expectations helped us a lot. I don’t know if you might raise your expectations and feel that we might win the next Test. This time there was no expectation and I am grateful to Allah for that,” said Mominul, adding that they shouldn’t be burdened with the pressure of expectation from now on.

“Please don’t expect that I’ll make this team number 5, 6 in the world in one or two years,” he added.

Mominul added that they were not thinking too far ahead at any point in the Test match and added that he was clear that they didn’t ruin their chance by getting over-excited in the fifth day morning when they required five more wickets to bowl out the Kiwis in the second innings.

“I just told the bowlers that we need to bowl like the way we did on the fourth day and we won’t go for wickets. You can say that if we don’t go for a wicket then how we will get them out. The plan was that we can’t leak runs going for wickets. We just wanted to put pressure on them and if the result comes it’s fine and if it doesn’t come then it’s not a matter,” said Mominul

“If the process is right and the body language is right 70 to 80 percent of the problem is solved. You need to have a clear mind if you want to play outside your country. So when you are playing in New Zealand or England, if you think that it will be hard then it’ll certainly turn out to be hard. So we didn’t focus on the result, rather on the process,’’ he said.

Mominul added that he wasn’t surprised with pace bowler Ebadot Hossain’s performance in the match, who picked up a six-for in the second innings and guided the visitors to a remarkable win.

 “For the last two to three years Ebadot is working very hard and he was a volleyball player coming for the Air Force. Our coaching staff worked with him so that he can bowl in the right area. We were expecting something like this from him.

“So I’m not surprised. A lot of us know that on the day when he bowls in the right area the opponent will be dead. For the last two to three years our bowling coach worked really hard with him and it’s the result of his hard work,” said Mominul, adding that other bowlers also played their part in the match.

Mominul also praised the new opening pair of Shadman Islam and Mahmudul Hasan Joy for doing their job perfectly.

“I can’t say how I’ll rate my innings but the two new ball bowlers of New Zealand are very dangerous but the way Joy (Mahmudul) played he showed that he will be a superstar tomorrow while Shadman helped in seeing off the shine of the ball,” he concluded.