Mominul downplays impact of Shakib’s absence in SL tour

DHAKA—Bangladesh Test skipper Mominul Haque played down the impact of the absence of Shakib Al Hasan in his side’s upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, saying that they rather are more focused on bringing up a good result.

Fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman is also missing the tour as he is playing Indian Premier League (IPL) alongside Shakib Al Hasan. However Mustafizur was not in consideration for the Test team for his lack of ability to swing the ball.

“I don’t think that we can’t get a result in the absence of Shakib (Al Hasan) and Mustafizur (Rahman),” Mominul said here today.

“They don’t have 10-12 hands of their own. There are other players in the squad too. I don’t think this (absence of Shakib) has had an impact on the results. What is happening is that we are not being able to play as a team.”

“We may have senior players like Shakib bhai missing in many series. So it is an opportunity for the others who get a chance. So it is better that we prepare ourselves in that way,” Mominul said.

Bangladesh will leave the country tomorrow (Monday) for Sri Lanka for a two-match Test series, which is the part of ICC World Test Championship.

The Tigers will be in mandatory three-day room quarantine from April 12-14 after arriving in Sri Lanka. They will have then quarantine training from April 15-16 after which they will play an inter-squad warm-up game from April 17-18.

The Tigers will train on April 19 and 20 before taking on Sri Lanka for the first Test on April 21. The second and final Test starts on April 29. All of the two matches will be held in Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy.

Mominul who led the side just one victory out of six matches after taking over the Test captaincy role said that the Sri Lanka series will be challenging one for them but insisted that they need to improve their position in Test cricket, in which they remained extremely vulnerable.

“Sri Lanka is a great team at home. It will be challenging for us. It won’t be easy for us. But the situation we find ourselves in, we have to take up this challenge and get a good result. I think it will be a competitive series. Both teams have good pace bowlers. Batting is going to be very important. We haven’t been batting up to everyone’s expectations off late,” he said.

As a captain Mominul at the moment is under fire following Bangladesh’s 0-2 loss in the Test series against a depleted West Indies side at home. But he believes they are now well prepared to do well in Sri Lanka because most of the red ball players had match practice as they played two first class matches in NCL.

“Within all the limitations we have had over the last 12 months, I think we have done well in terms of preparations. I think the Test regulars have had better preparations than the one-day players. We have played two first-class games recently, and practiced with the red ball,” he said.

“Representing the team at the international level has some pressure with it. You have to take that much pressure especially when results are not going your way.”

Preliminary Squad: Mominul Haque, Liton Kumer Das, Md Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal Khan, Shadman Islam, Abu Jayed Chowdhury Rahi, Taijul Islam, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Nayeem Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Ebadot Hossain Chowdhury, Mohammed Saif Hassan, Yasir Ali Chowdhury, Shoriful Islam, Syed Khaled Ahmed, Mukidul Islam Mugdho, Shuvagata Hom Chowdhury, Shohidul Islam, Quazi Nurul Hasan Sohan.BSS