Athletic

Is Mominul doing enough as Test Captain?

What went wrong for Bangladesh during the Test series against Sri Lanka, despite having a more experienced side and the benefit of playing at home? Prior to the series, Bangladesh clearly had the upper hand. However, they were unable to outperform Sri Lanka in the series. The batting unit, particularly in the second Test, should take the brunt of the blame. Bangladesh's Test captain, Mominul Haque, was the biggest disappointment among them. Mominul's captaincy has impacted his batting. There has been debate on whether he should continue to captain the team in the forthcoming BAN vs WI Test Series 2022. Let's discuss whether Mominul Haque should step down from captaincy.

Mominul Haque’s Performance as Test Captain

Mominul Haque made his debut as Test captain against India in November 2019. Since then, he has captained Bangladesh in 17 matches and led them to win three of them. Bangladesh’s arguably greatest victory in cricket to date came under his captaincy against New Zealand in January 2022. The Tigers beat the Kiwis by 8 wickets at Mount Maunganui. More importantly, a new-look Bangladesh side completely dismantled the New Zealand team in their own backyard. There was a hope that Bangladesh would only develop from there on.

However, things haven’t worked out as expected since then. Bangladesh failed to execute their game plan against an inexperienced New Zealand side. They lost both the away Test matches heavily. Bangladesh were favourites against Sri Lanka at home, but once again they couldn’t meet the expectations and conceded a series defeat. What’s more alarming is that Mominul Haque’s batting performance has declined in recent matches.

Mominul Haque has played 9 innings since the historic Test victory over New Zealand in January. In those, his highest score was 37, and surprisingly, he failed to reach double-digit numbers in the remaining eight innings. The stats clearly indicate that Mominul is currently going through a series of bad patches with the bat. However, that doesn’t mean he can’t handle the pressure of captaincy, which poses extra pressure on his batting. Because Mominul has three centuries to his name since he became captain.

Mominul Haque has the lowest batting average among those who have captained the Bangladesh Test team more than once since 2011. However, the main reason for the decline in his batting average is his recent poor run of form.

The BCB has to decide whether they would like to give Mominul one more chance to thrive as a captain or whether they will look for an alternative option. If Mominul has been put under pressure as captain, removing him from the position will be a more viable option.

Who Can Replace Mominul Haque?

There are very limited options when it comes to picking Mominul alternatives for the Test captaincy role. Mushfiqur Rahim will not be considered for the captaincy role. Tamim Iqbal’s main focus is captaining the ODI side, while Mahmudullah Riyad has already retired from the longer-version format.

So, there are only two realistic options for the BCB to pick a Mominul alternative. They are Shakib Al Hasan and Litton Kumer Das. Litton Das has yet to captain the Test side, while Bangladesh have played 14 matches under Shakib’s captaincy. Besides, the record also backs Shakib as he has the best winning percentage as a skipper.

Bottom Line

Mominul Haque's overall batting record isn't bad, but he is not feeling confident regarding his captaincy and batting right now. He must overcome his mental obstacles to regain his batting rhythm. Mominul must also show his character in terms of decision-making both on and off the field. Will he be able to implement this in the forthcoming West Indies series? Or is it time for Mominul to reconsider his Captaincy role? However, BCB will reassess his place in the team and may hand over the captaincy to Shakib Al Hasan if Mominul fails to deliver as skipper and batter in the upcoming series against the Caribbean side.

Source: United News of Bangladesh