Can Mominul follow Bashar’s footsteps?
Mominul Haque had a great start to his Test career. Not only he became Bangladesh’s first Test specialist cricketer, but during the initial stage of his career he was also being considered as the Bangladeshi Bradman.
But things went south in recent years. He has not been able to play up to his merit. And after getting the responsibility of captaining the side in Test cricket, things just got tougher for him.
After being made the captain of the side following Shakib Al Hasan’s ban, Mominul could not bring a nice start to his journey. In his debut Test as captain, he scored 37 and 7 in two innings. But the second one proved to be more disastrous, as he could not open his account in either of the innings. And also his side lost both the matches against India by an innings margin.
Though these are only the early days, many have already brought up the questions if captaincy has become a burden for Mominul. So the upcoming Test match against Pakistan in Rawalpindi can be a good platform for Mominul to prove the critics wrong.
And on his way to do that, Mominul can gather some inspiration from the former captain Habibul Bashar, who is also the current selector of the side.
Not exact same, but Bashar also had a similar story after being made captain of the side. He got the post before Bangladesh’s tour of Zimbabwe all of a sudden. He had hardly any prior experience of captaining a side in domestic cricket. So many critics at that time lashed out at this gamble by the board.
A fairytale start was not in line for Bashar. In the first Test in Harare, Bangladesh lost very badly, and Bashar was out on zero in both innings. As a result, things simply went out of hand. Everyone was like, Bangladesh had just one consistent batsman in Test cricket, and the board is ruining his career as well by making him the captain.
Thankfully, the same situation did not remain forever. Rather Bashar quickly found his rhythm back as captain by winning ODI match in Zimbabwe, which was Bangladesh’s first overseas victory in five years. He also improved as a player soon. In the very next series against West Indies, he first scored a century in the first Test, and followed it up with another 77 in the second.
Eventually Bashar went on to become Bangladesh’s one of the best skippers ever. He is the man who guided Bangladesh’s current generation superstars. Bangladesh’s first Test match win, first series win, beating Australia, surprising the whole world in the 2007 World Cup—everything came under his leadership.
So the question is, if Bashar can overcome all the odds as a captain, why not Mominul?
Before addressing that question, we also must not forget Mominul’s batting woes away from home as well.
The left-hand batsman is brilliant on the Bangladeshi soil. All eight of his centuries came at home. Seven out of his 13 fifties also came here. Overall he has 1992 runs from 40 innings in Bangladesh with an average of 55.33.
But why can not he replicate the same form away from home? From 31 overseas Test innings, he gathered only 665 runs, with his average being 21.45. So it is evident that Mominul has yet to prove himself outside Bangladesh.
And this will be another challenge for the Bangladesh captain in the upcoming Test commencing from February 7.