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News

Siddons confident of Mushfiqur, Mominul returning to form against Sri Lanka

Mushfiqur and Mominul had made only 59 and 13 runs respectively in the two Tests in South Africa

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
10-May-2022
Mushfiqur Rahim has a chat with Mominul Haque, Dhaka, February 9, 2021

Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul Haque had a tough time in South Africa  •  AFP via Getty Images

Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh batting coach, has backed Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul Haque to return to form in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Chattogram next week. Mushfiqur and Mominul had made only 59 and 13 runs respectively in the two Tests in South Africa.
In fact, Mominul had the personal-worst two-Test series of his career in South Africa, which extended his lean patch that began during the home Test series against Pakistan last year. Mominul has had only three-double figure scores in 12 innings since last November. As for Mushfiqur, he has made only 76 runs in his last three Tests, leaving Siddons with his hands full during Bangladesh's short training camp in Chattogram in the lead-up to the Test that begins on May 15.
"Every batsman goes through patches where they don't make runs," Siddons said. "I am really confident that he will make runs out here this week. I have seen some really good signs, the way he is hitting it in the last two days. We worked on a couple of little things with him. I think he is going to have a successful series.
"Mominul has nine [seven] centuries in Chittagong. This week is another chance to make another couple. He loves this ground. We are just trying to get him ready to go. He is very confident."
Siddons produced a robust defence of Mushfiqur after questions were raised about the senior players' future in a recent Nazmul Hassan press conference. The BCB chief didn't mention Mushfiqur, but it resulted in some speculation around Mushfiqur's career.
"I think Mushy is only focused in the next two Tests," Siddons said. "I don't think he is worried about his career in any format. I think he is worried about making runs for us in these two Tests. He is quite successful in white-ball cricket.
"Good players can have moments when they don't make runs, and then bounce back. That's why they are great players. Mushy is a very successful Test player. He keeps making runs. He might have a period like South Africa, and then he will bounce back again."
Overall too, Bangladesh's batting is a cause for worry. Siddons said that appearances in the Dhaka Premier League and the short camp in Chattogram will be enough for the players to prepare for the Test series. He added that they have had a lot of discussion about Bangladesh's batting, particularly around building on good starts in the first innings.
"South Africa was a long tour. It was a successful tour in my opinion because of the one-day team. Probably [we] didn't play great Test cricket. We will have good and bad days in cricket. We had a couple of bad days that made us look quite bad. I thought we played some really good cricket in those Tests. Taijul [Islam] gets a nine-for, [Mahmudul Hasan] Joy gets a great hundred, very early in his career. We had some really great starts in the first innings, we didn't play great in the second innings. The real focus is to make bigger first-innings scores."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84