Athletic

Lack of team effort cost us the match: Mominul

After losing the second Test against South Africa in Gqeberha, Bangladesh Test captain Mominul Haque attributed the defeat to lack of team effort.

Bangladesh lost the second Test by a big margin of 332 runs, after losing the first match by 220 runs. They are set to return without a memorable result in the Test series.

Right before the Test series, Bangladesh beat South Africa in the ODI series – a landmark achievement away from home. That win charged up the Tigers ahead of the Tests, but they failed to do well in the longer format, despite coming up against a below-strength team.

In the four innings of two Tests, Bangladesh did well only in one when Mahmudul Hasan Joy hit his maiden Test ton. But in the other three innings, Bangladesh capitulated to the hosts’ spin attack.

“We failed to play as a team,” Mominul said in the post-match press conference. “I only have an explanation— we failed to bat well.”

Mominul failed to reach double-digits in any of the four innings, totalling just 13 runs for the series. Mushfiqur Rahim, another mainstay of the Bangladesh team, hit a fifty in an innings but failed to reach double-digits in the other three innings. Mushfiqur’s rash shot selections leading to dismissals at key moments also came in for criticism.

Bangladesh paid a heavy price for their batting failures.

“You can have some bad days. It does not mean that you are not capable anymore,” Mominul said explaining his own batting failure. “I know how to score runs. I had bad days before and I scored big runs after that.”

Mominul backed Mushfiqur against the criticism he has faced.

“Reverse sweep is a shot of cricket, isn’t it?” Mominul said. “Mushfiqur scored ample runs playing this shot. If he has this shot in his plan, he can play it anytime. I support him playing this shot.”

Bangladesh only had five partnerships in two Tests exceeding 50 runs. The biggest stand was of 82 runs between Liton Das and Mahmudul in the first innings of the first Test.

There was no stand of more than 50 runs in the second innings of either Test. Of course there wouldn’t be given that they were bowled out for 53 and 80 in those two innings, woefully bowled out in under 20 and 24 overs respectively when they needed to bat long in the 4th innings to get any sort of result.

“We are not the number one team in Test,” Mominul said when he was asked whether Bangladesh lack a Test mentality. “We have to play well in every session of a Test. We have to improve more. We are still at the same place where we were ahead of this series.”

Bangladeshi batters play spinners on a regular basis at the domestic circuit. But in this series, they were rudderless against the left-arm spin of Keshav Maharaj who scalped two seven-fors.

Mominul said they only have one or two batters who can do well against spin, and this is the reason behind their poor show against Maharaj.

Bangladesh’s next assignment is to play a two-match Test series against Sri Lanka at home. The Sri Lankan Test team is scheduled to arrive in Bangladesh on May 8.

Source: United News of Bangladesh