Mominul Haque: Lack of ‘a lot of performing players’ reason behind reliance on longer-format rookies

Bangladesh Test captain Mominul Haque has reduced the size of his 19-member team to a second anti-Pakistan test due to the inaccessibility of several older players due to injury and retirement, rather than testing tactics.

Bangladesh will lose Tamim Iqbal due to a thumb injury, and Shakib Al Hasan skipped most of the tests this year, while Mahmudullah recently abandoned the format. Although Taskin Ahmed was injured in the Chattogram test, both he and Shakib will be available for the Dhaka test starting on Saturday. Thus, for the upcoming game of the home team, the composition gave the impression that their selection committee and the team management were not sure whether the field combination fell by eight goals in the opening test.

“We’re not just experimenting with younger players,” Mominul said of such a large team. “We have replaced Tamim Bhai, who is injured. [Mohammad] Naim has come as a [potential] New Zealand reserve player [considering the upcoming tour]. Rabbi [Yasir Ali] played his first test at Shakib bhai. Riyad [Mahmudullah] bhai has retired. We are We don’t have many players to play in. If the older players come back, they will be in the locker room.

The main topic of the team was the involvement of Mohammad Naimi. The T20 specialist, the left-back, played the last of his six first-class matches last year. It doesn’t have a very good record in longer formats, as it has focused mainly on T20Is since its international debut two years ago. By contrast, Anamul Haque, who opens first-class cricket in the last three years in five centuries, 63.15.

Mominul explained that Naim, who has remained in the T20I, was chosen as a back-up after Saif Hassan developed typhoid fever, although he hinted that Mahmudul Hasan Joy would probably fill the vacancy without a lid.

“We don’t have enough openers. The wife is someone who has played international cricket regularly,” he said. “He’s been playing T20s lately, so he missed a lot of first class cricket. We wanted an opener who has played international cricket. It would be difficult for a domestic cricket opener to adjust to this situation. We also need to consider a tour of New Zealand.”

Mominul said he was glad Shakib was in good shape again. The senior all-round player, who suffered a heel injury in the T20 World Cup match against West India, which has forced him to skip his team match for six months, passed a fitness test last week. And Shakibi’s return means Bangladesh has the opportunity to add five real bowlers to its top six, as well as another experienced batter.

“Shakib bhai makes it easy to create a team combination,” he said. “He looks good. He’s recovered from the injury. He’s making every captain’s life easier. He’s important to the team. His return is positive for us.”

But will Bangladesh, which has won only two of the last 13 international matches until September, win Dhaka against Pakistan? Mominul believes that if they can make the best of two days, they will have a chance to tie the series, but they should also start well with the ball. In the chattogram test, they dropped 49 for 4 and 25 for 4, where they also acknowledged the opening of partnerships at 146 and 151.

“The most important thing in the test game is the first hour, no matter who hits,” he said. “If we can get off to a good start, things will get easier. Our strength is a shot, so if we can hit five or six sessions, we’ll definitely be in the game. We’re going to win the test.”

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