Thursday, 18 August, 2022

No Mominul in Test after five years

Bangladesh Test skipper Shakib Al Hasan came up with a huge surprise during the toss of the series-concluding second Test against West Indies in St Lucia on Friday where he announced that experienced batsman Mominul Haque wouldn’t be part of their playing XI.

Mominul is one of the two changes that Bangladesh made from their seven-wicket defeat in the first Test against the hosts in Antigua alongside pacer Mustafizur Rahman.

The second change was quite evident as Bangladesh flew pacer Shoriful Islam to St Lucia just a few days before the second Test in order to manage the workload of Mustafizur, a key asset for them in the upcoming white-ball series against the Caribbean.

However, Mominul’s losing his spot to top-order batsman Anamul Haque Bijoy, was quite unlikely before the announcement made by Shakib despite his going through a bad patch for a long period of time.

Mominul, who stepped down from Test captaincy just before the tour of West Indies, could only make four runs (0 and 4) in the first Test but despite his poor outing, he received backing from the newly-appointed skipper Shakib after the match.

“If he thinks he needs a break, it can happen. It is not ideal to make a decision just after a match. We have a break for two days. On our next day of training in St Lucia, we will think about what’s best for the team,” Shakib said after the first Test.

It was the ninth consecutive innings where Mominul failed to reach the double-digit mark and after scoring 88 runs against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui earlier this year, he could score only 78 runs in the last 12 Test innings.

Although Bijoy’s inclusion in the second Test squad indicated that the team management might have been thinking of making a change in the top-order but most people thought that another struggler Najmul Hossain Shanto likely to be the man to get dropped for the second Test.

Bijoy last represented the Tigers in white colour eight years back and con-incidentally, he played his last Test at the same venue where he’s making a comeback after September, 2014.

It couldn’t be confirmed immediately whether Mominul asked for a break or he was dropped for the second Test but for sure he had a reality check within one Test after he quit Test captaincy.

The last time Mominul was dropped from a Bangladesh Test side was back in 2017 during their historical 100th Test match at P Sara Oval in Colombo.

Mominul also failed to get a place in the next Test against Australia at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur (Bangladesh won both the Tests) but since then, he represented the Tigers in all 32 Tests before finally being sidelined.