Bangladesh v India, 2nd ODI, Mirpur

Mominul - dropped or sacrificed?

Mominul Haque's exclusion from the second ODI seemed to suggest he had paid the price for the poor form of some of his senior team-mates

Mohammad Isam

June 18, 2014

Comments: 15 | Text size: A | A

Mominul Haque steadied the innings with a half-century, Bangladesh v Afghanistan, Asia Cup, Fatullah, March 1, 2014
Mominul Haque was dropped despite scoring three fifties in his last eight innings and two in his last four © AFP
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Mominul Haque's exclusion from the second ODI was a reflection of how the Bangladesh team management and selection committee have functioned this year. By all means, this was a sacrifice more than a drop as he had to pay the price for some of his senior teammates' lack of form. It is a reflection on poor selectoral choices for several months now without rational explanations, and a clear signal that the selectors are keeping a good distance from making tough though logical choices.

Speaking about Mominul and only adding to the conclusion about a lack of logical thinking among the management and selectors, Mushfiqur Rahim said the decision to drop the batsman was not due to his form but, much like everything else that happened during his side's 58 all out, he didn't get into a deeper explanation.

"We didn't drop Mominul because he is doing badly," Mushfiqur said. "He has struggled in ODIs unlike how he has started in his Test career. Hopefully he will come back. We thought of making a change in his place, as he is not a No 6, 7 or 8."

Mominul made just 5 in the last game and during his 27-minute stay, much like Anamul Haque and Tamim Iqbal, he didn't look too comfortable. He had also struggled for runs in the West Indies for Bangladesh A in the two four-day matches, but so did other batsmen such as Nasir Hossain, who played in the XI on Tuesday.

Mominul's recent ODI numbers, though, have been pretty good. He has scored three fifties in eight ODIs this year, and two of them came in his last four innings. He looked like one of very few batsmen in the team to be in some sort of form throughout the Sri Lanka series as well as the Asia Cup.

One can go out on a limb to say that in the light of Mominul being the most consistent of the Bangladeshi batsmen this year, it would have been perfectly understandable if he had retained his place for the second ODI. In contrast, going by form, it wouldn't have required too much of an explanation had the team management decided to omit Tamim or Nasir rather than Mominul. This despite the fact that Tamim is a senior player and Nasir is having his first bad patch in international cricket. Neither of their particular situations changes the fact that Mominul has been a settled and consistent No. 3 in Tests and ODIs.

It must be stated though that Momimul's replacement, the debutant Mithun Ali, played his role to an extent, top-scoring with 26 and looking in decent touch. He has been picked on the back of a fruitful domestic season but the key question is did Bangladesh actually need a new No 3 for this game? A similar decision was made last year in Zimbabwe, where Mominul was suddenly propped up to No 3 for the first two games, scored slowly in those games, and was dropped for the third ODI. The instance in Zimbabwe or what happened in Mirpur before the second ODI against India on Tuesday aren't isolated incidents.

From the start of 2014, Mahmudullah has been persisted with despite poor form, and when he was dropped, Mushfiqur was furious and even went public with his frustration with the selection committee. Shamsur Rahman and Arafat Sunny have found themselves in and out of the team while Farhad Reza was kept in the World T20 side for doing slightly better than Ziaur, who was in form at the time.

Ziaur was brought back into the T20 side as a late replacement although he had been out of training for a few weeks leading up to his call-up. Then there was the decision to drop Rubel Hossain although he had been the highest wicket-taker in the team. Sunny was the second highest wicket-taker.

The decision by the management and selectors to drop Mominul will send a confusing message all around - icon-clad certainty among the biggest names and insecurity among younger players for fear of being jettisoned on the basis of one failure.

Dropping Mominul is only one example. While the team management made one good decision in including Taskin Ahmed, the question remains as to whether it would not have been a sounder decision to have played him in the first ODI as well. Persisting with Ziaur Rahman led to a situation in which he bowled just one over each in the two matches even though the second ODI was played on a seaming pitch. With the bat, he was just as ineffectual, scoring just 2 in the first ODI and holing out for a duck after attempting an ill-advised slog in the second ODI.

Such selection patterns are not complex issues. The worry here seems to be more about maintaining the status quo rather than being realistic. Aggressive openers and finishers are given more leeway than batsmen offering solidity. If some within the management or selection panel find it hard to take the tough decisions, it makes the team environment that much more ridden by egg-shells.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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Posted by espncricinfomobile on (June 24, 2014, 17:57 GMT)

@Harish.....your comment is such a joke

Posted by   on (June 23, 2014, 13:37 GMT)

Mominul is an excellent player.he is a very good batsman and useful bowler.also,Aftab Ahmed should be brought back into the team

Posted by   on (June 21, 2014, 5:37 GMT)

Other than Shakib no one in the team is eligible to play international cricket

Posted by Ain_EL_Sabet on (June 20, 2014, 3:44 GMT)

The new breed of young Bd players are very promising but the old set of players are just the opposit way. Bd should invest/work on these new young players such as Mominul, Anamul, Taskin ahmed, Taijul Islam, Mosaddek hossain, Mithun ali, Nazmul hossain the impressive bpl batsmen etc etc rather than still holding onto same old players like tamim, mahmuduallah etc who have reached their limit and cant improve anymore. I think the two coaches should work on these young talents and ignore the old players becuz I am sure if these young players are taken care of by these coaches then Bd has bright future soon , otherwise from the old players Bd going nowhere.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2014, 22:29 GMT)

Mr. Isam this a long overdue article but it better late than never. You said it perfectly. The selectors are being biased to the senior players. Well I have to ask; Did Bangladesh consistently play well 3-4 years ago when it only had those players? No, of coarse not. It started playing well when new talent poured in. So WHY are we so set on continuing with failures like Razzak and Tamim. Nasir will get better I know it but not on the team. Send those three along with Ziaur to play some Bangladesh A games. I have not much to say about mithun Ali but right now any talent is welcome. My playing eleven are 1.Shamsur Rahman/Imrul Kayes 2.Anamul Haque 3.Mithun Ali/Shamsur Rahman/Imrul Kayes 4.Mominul Haque 5.Mushfiqur Rahim 6.Shakib Al Hasan 7.Mahmudullah 8.Sohag Gazi 9.Mashrafee Mortaza 10.Al-Amin 11.Taskin Ahmed I persist with Mahmudullah only because he is the second best all-rounder Bangladesh has and I can't figure out who is a viable replacement.

Posted by siddhartha87 on (June 18, 2014, 16:53 GMT)

few mistakes in my opinion: 1.Dropping Rubel Hssain while persisting with Ziaur 2. Not allowing Mominul to settle in XI. He is a genuine number 3 batsman. 3.Persisting with Sohag Gazi.

Best possible team for BD is : 1.Tamim 2. ANamul 3. Mominul 4. Mushfiqur 5.Shakib 6. Nasir 7.Mahmadullah 8. Mortaza 9. Razzaq/Taskin 10. Rubel 11. Al Amin

Posted by indianzen on (June 18, 2014, 16:42 GMT)

Seeing from what they play, I would say that its best to drop Tamim, Al Amin, Nasir, Razzak and Mahmudullah and give those chances to younger talents... Also Rahim was appointed the captain just because Dhoni and Sanga did well as captains. You need a thinking captain who can push players to execute the plan and not one who keeps clapping and reacting when team is failing... Believe me, As an Indian fan I say that there cannot be anymore shame other than getting defeated at home, even through with a higher ranked team...

Posted by TMSyed on (June 18, 2014, 13:59 GMT)

I'd just like to say, Hats off to Isam for this, and his consistant hard work for ESPNCricinfo representing Bangladesh, in its glory and misery.

Posted by Anisur_Ash98 on (June 18, 2014, 10:17 GMT)

The squad for tomorrow should be: 1.Shamsur Rahman 2.Anamul Haque 3.Mithun Ali 4.Mominul Haque 5.Mushfiqur Rahim 6.Shakib Al Hasan 7.Mahmudullah 8.Sohag Gazi 9.Mashrafee Mortaza 10.Al-Amin 11.Taskin Ahmed

Posted by   on (June 18, 2014, 10:08 GMT)

Is there any explanation why Ziaur Rahman was in the team? ODIs Match 13 bat avg 11.27 Bowling Match 12 wikt 10

Posted by THEBEAST7 on (June 18, 2014, 9:12 GMT)

If at all they wanna drop somebody, drop Mohammad Mushfiqur Rahim from captaincy first and then Tamim, Nasir, Mahmudullah and Razzak. What hace they done to be in the team? Look at the way Tamim batted last night. He is a walking wicket. no brains at all. pure stupid!!

Posted by peace_barta on (June 18, 2014, 9:07 GMT)

Yes.Selectors said Rubel was expensive.yes,he was.but without taking the wicket can u win the Match ? also they said , Al amin was impressive.surely he was . but only for left-handers.nt with right-handers.india have only 1 left-hander in top order.but in no 4.and aksar.u cant say to bowled aksar out u will inclued a bowler in the squad.sunny was performing well.far better than Razzak.and zia.why he ? why nt naeem ? avg 27 + is far better than his batting.even rezas odi batting avg is better than him.if u want seaming all-rounder , to bowl in match , Reza perform well in domestic.u cant say he will bowl only 1 over in each match its enoungh hes batting is good.and mominul , hes the 3rd highest run geter this year for bd.and u dropped him !! hes nt play 11 ball and score a 0.hes solid in no 3.tamim getting out quickly in every matches pressur was on him in every match.and gazi.why he ? hes nt good enoung to out r8 hander.hes nt a good turner of da ball.just clueless everything.

Posted by   on (June 18, 2014, 8:49 GMT)

I'm a big fan of Test-style batsmen being key players in the ODI teams, even if they are not considered the best or most impactful player (even though they very often are!) - players like Kane Williamson, Jonathan Trott, Michael Clarke, etc. Batsmen like these, having succeeded at Test level, have the patience to play the balls that are right to score off and are capable of finding scoring opportunities that other batsmen cannot without compromising their wicket - leading them to be able to get large scores and keep the team's scorecard stable, but ticking. Because of this it's worth giving "Phenomenal* Mominul" and other, young Test successes (think Pujara) a longer rope in the ODI than you would other young batsmen (even if they have many failures), because these sorts of players are unique and invaluable to their sides.

**Phenomenal Mominul is officially (my) new nickname for him now - I'm surprised the likes of Zaltzman haven't begun calling him that regularly!

Posted by Baundele on (June 18, 2014, 8:48 GMT)

Bad selections destroy players both ways. For example, Tamim has been getting selected even after poor performances. This creates extra pressure on him, which ultimately breaks him down. On the other hand, Mominul got dropped even after playing well in the Asia Cup. His getting dropped will demoralize him greatly and create unnecessary pressure. Selection should be simple and easy. If you are on form, you will play. If not, you need a rest.

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (June 18, 2014, 8:43 GMT)

The 4 players that should be completely away from the national team are Tamim, Nasir, Mahmudullah and Razzak. All are completely out of form and have an attitude problem.

We're not expecting BD to beat everyone but this recent game against India, high scoring game against Pakistan, Sri Lanka games where we had them for 75/5 and 68/8 and Afghanistan at 90/5 should've all been won. The others fair enough deserved to lose simple as that.

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