Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Mominul urges teammates to ignore critics leading into Pakistan Tests. "My job is to bring back focus from thinking about what everyone is saying, and focusing on our job."
"My job is to bring back focus from thinking about what everyone is saying, and focusing on our job."
Bangladesh Test skipper Mominul Haque urged his teammates to close their ears instead of trying to shut their critics up ahead of the opening Test against Pakistan. Mominul is well-aware that he needs to calm down his teammates considering the recent state of affairs. Bangladesh's cricketers received huge criticism from all corners due to a below-par performance at the T20 WC. If that wasn't enough, Pakistan whitewashed the hosts in the T20I series as Bangladesh lost eight successive games in the format.
The board did not stand by the cricketers in their tough times and opted to join hands with critics, only complicating things further and it is likely to take a toll on the Test team as they start the second cycle of the ICC Test Championship. “This is not the first time Bangladesh has gone through such a phase. We have overcome such situations before too. People become mentally weak because they take outside talk seriously,” Mominul said ahead of the opening Test on Thursday (November 25).
“My job is to bring back focus from thinking about what everyone is saying, and focusing on our job. We have to back each other. You cannot shut anyone's mouth but I think you can shut off your own ears,” he said.
Bangladesh will be missing several key cricketers as seasoned campaigner Mahmudullah retired from Test cricket recently while Shakib Al Hasan and Taskin Ahmed are unavailable for the opening Test due to their respective injuries. The absence of Tamim Iqbal also leaves a big hole to be filled. Mominul admitted that it will be challenging to lead such a side.
“Of course, the opener of the second cycle of the ICC Test Championship will be challenging for us,” said Mominul. “I don't want to call it a difficult challenge. ‘Difficult' has a negative meaning. I don't want to see it negatively. Tamim bhaigives us good starts that we have often capitalized on. Shakib is two players in one. Taskin has been bowling well recently.
“We are effectively missing four players. It makes my captaincy a bit more challenging but Mushfiq bhaiand I have to take on the added responsibility,” he said adding that they need to focus on what they have considering they will be missing Tamim and Shakib for the upcoming New Zealand tour as well.
“Everyone wants results. Not just me. I think it is a good opportunity for the youngsters. You will get a picture of the direction our Test team is taking in this, and some of the future series. We definitely have long-term plans in Tests. We want to build slowly, and within a series or two we will know where our Test team stands.”
Mominul said that he is confident of picking 20 wickets despite missing some of the leading bowlers as he is keeping faith in the trio of Abu Jayed, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taijul Islam.
“Mustafizur (Rahman) hasn't played a Test for a long time. Both Taskin (Ahmed) and Shoriful (Islam) are unfortunately injured. But we have to think about those who are in the squad.
“(Abu Jayed) Rahi has been our leading wicket-taker in the World Test Championship. Ebadot is also playing Tests regularly. We also have (Mehidy Hasan) Miraz and Taijul (Islam). I have confidence in my bowlers. I think if we bowl well, we can take 20 wickets in this game,” he said, adding that he is confident Liton Das will bounce back in the Test series leaving behind their T20I's disappointment as it will be a different format altogether. “There's a big difference between Tests and T20Is. When we keep mentioning T20s, it becomes difficult for me. I think Liton has overcome the (mental aspect) of it. He has averaged 45-50 in Tests in the last 12 months. I think he can handle it well. He had a mental break. Everyone is supporting him,” he concluded.