Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Colombo March 14, 2013

Mominul targets runs, not spotlight


Normally when a Bangladesh batsman makes a 50-plus score on Test debut, the attention he gets can become hard to handle. Just ask Abul Hasan, the tailender who made a century on debut last November. Mominul Haque's 55 in the first innings in Galle however didn't put him in the spotlight, as the fans and the media feted the drawn Test match as well as Mushfiqur Rahim, Mohammad Ashraful and Nasir Hossain.

The lack of attention suits Mominul who likes to keep things quiet. He goes about his business in training without much fuss. He bats in a similar fashion, calling on very little attention with his stroke play or mannerisms. There is no puffing of the chest, no extravagant stretching when first at the crease. Asked if he took a look at the wicket at the R Premadasa Stadium, he said he doesn't understand what wickets do. He only prepares himself to bat.

The focus was on him, though, on the second evening of the Galle Test, when he came out for his first Test innings with Bangladesh trailing Sri Lanka by a huge margin.

"I wasn't too nervous but I was really enjoying batting out there," Mominul told ESPNcricinfo. "If you enjoy something, the nervousness goes away.

"I liked batting with Ashraful bhai. He gave me a lot of encouragement when we were building a partnership. Even in the practice match where we batted together for a long time, he helped me."

Mominul was being tipped as a Test player for more than a year now, with a call-up looming during the home Tests against Pakistan in December 2011. The national selectors wanted to give him more time to prepare in the domestic circuit, as well as have a few more A-team tours under the belt. Part of the problem was that he hadn't played a series of first-class matches in a single season. That changed in the 2012-13 season, when he played eight matches averaging 40.27 scoring two centuries.

"There is a lot of difference between first-class and Test cricket. I thought there were overs when I didn't face a single bad ball. I have to wait for the bad ball, and sometimes forcefully play a shot off the good ball.

"You need a high level of concentration, because you are not getting to play bad balls regularly. In first-class cricket you get 3-4 bad balls per over and you can decide when to hit a boundary. That relaxes you. But here you have to look for the boundary ball, wait for it."

Mominul's other advantage, so to speak, has been the relative poor form he had during the Bangladesh Premier League. He had very little to do for Sylhet Royals, keeping him relatively fresh for the Sri Lanka tour. Many of the Bangladesh players, young and the not so young, have suffered fatigue, minor and major injuries during and after the Twenty20 competition.

He wouldn't however get drawn into the question of whether he likes the format or not. For now, he is focusing on how to make a better score than the 55 he got in Galle.

"I want to score big. I want to make more than I made in the first innings," he says. The Bangladesh team welcomes such a mindset, and Mominul would welcome another attention-free Test match.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    little boy :p like him very much

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2013, 12:49 GMT

    I choose this Test squad for Bangladesh : 1.Tamim Iqbal 2.Marshal Ayub 3.Md.Ashraful 4.Sakib Al Hasan 5.Mushfiqur 6.Naeem Islam 7.Mahmuddal 8.Mehrab Junior 9.Sohag Gazi 10.Taskin 11.Rubel Hossain Replacement Players Mominul,Shamsur,Mosharraf Rubel,I request to rethink BCB to select this team for future betterment i hope they will do if all are fit.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2013, 10:36 GMT

    Mominul should keep n eye on his batting average ( in first class his AVG is 40+) so in test he should retain this up flowing of luck

  • monsurul on March 15, 2013, 10:33 GMT

    this young lad is a very exciting player to watch.... i wish him all the best in future...

  • Bashar on March 15, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    Good mind set of luck.

  • Habib on March 15, 2013, 0:49 GMT

    Mominul should realize that occupying crease is more prudent then scoring big in a test cricket. He can take appropriate positives from Ashraful and Mushfique's innings - not the big score they compiled. The amount of time they spent at the crease clearly rewarded them with big scores. Mominul should also notice that the minute Ashraful tried to rush to his end line (200 mark) he was caught red handed, literally!

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2013, 22:00 GMT

    best of luck hopfully will do better in the second test.

  • Dummy4 on March 14, 2013, 21:37 GMT

    @Rising Team.He has not batted in 20 over yet.How do you know then?And in 50 over games he played 2/3 innings only

  • Ken on March 14, 2013, 19:31 GMT

    players like nayeem, mominul, marshall, mehrab should only concentrate on longer forms of cricket. players like anamul should focus on odi for now. hopefully they will then gain experience and skills required for each situation.

    bng also really need riyad to start performing with bat now.

  • Bayzid on March 14, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    Bangladesh has many little masters in the team..... Good luck Mominul for better carrer

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