Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
Mominul Haque missed a chance to equal AB de Villiers' world record for fifties in consecutive matches, but there will be lasting impact of his batting consistency in the Bangladesh team and beyond. Yet, Mominul's immediate future looks bleak as he is unlikely to be an automatic choice in the ODI series against India despite being named in the 14-man squad on Saturday.
Mushfiqur Rahim is the prime candidate to bat at No. 4 in place of the injured Mahmudullah. Soumya Sarkar could drop down to No. 3 with either of Rony Talukdar or Litton Das opening with Tamim Iqbal. Chandika Hathurusingha had said after the World Cup that Soumya's emergence would keep Mominul out of the ODI setup for a while. Soumya's unbeaten 127 against Pakistan also strengthened his position at the top of the order and won him a place in the Test XI as well.
The same smooth transition between formats has not quite occurred for Mominul, who has been playing international cricket since 2012. Due to the traditionally high importance given to ODIs in Bangladesh, not being in the limited-overs team has often led to seriously question a player's international future.
There is a feeling that since ODI cricket is so important to the well being of Bangladesh cricket, someone who only cracks it in Tests must have limitations. In Mominul's case, it has been mostly his lack of batting speed, even though his team-mates, who are perceived to be more aggressive, have similar lower strike-rates.
Mominul's run of 11 consecutive Test fifties, now level with Viv Richards, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, makes his absence from the ODI XI feel like a strange miss. A batsman like Mominul, with his technique and international runs, is rare in Bangladesh, but he is still viewed as a misfit in limited overs.
Though he ended one fifty short of equaling de Villiers' record, Mominul's run is the sort of consistency that future Bangladesh batsmen should aim to emulate in Test cricket.
Mominul's feat also stands out because most of the records broken by Bangladesh players were one-time affairs - Mohammad Ashraful becoming the youngest centurion, Shakib's hundred and 10 wickets in a match, Abul Hasan's century at No.10, or Alok Kapali's hat-trick, to name a few. Mominul's run, on the other hand, is a sustained effort that began in October 2013 and ended in this game. But missing ODI and T20 glitz means he is not a very popular figure and remains only a cricket nerd's favourite.
When Tamim made seven fifties in consecutive matches between January and June in 2010, he created a new benchmark for Bangladesh openers. He showed that they need not be obdurate and only there to see the shine off the ball. His slam-bang method never went overboard, but he showed that batting at a good speed can also be done consistently. Bangladesh's openers henceforth tried to bat with a bit more adventure, though very few were successful. But the goalposts were shifted for opening batsmen across the country in the last five years. Very few openers in Bangladesh's domestic cricket now bat slowly.
Mominul's development as a Test batsman, at least at home, means that Bangladesh's plans will have more substance almost by default even as the BCB's plans become more ODI and T20-centric. Already, by resting Rubel Hossain for the Fatullah Test, the hierarchy has sent out a signal that Test cricket can have a less balanced bowling attack, but they won't compromise on qualifying for the 2017 Champions Trophy. Whether they admit it or not, the lack of on-field results and performances, coupled with the dwindling down of the number of Tests have contributed to the shift in focus within the authorities.
The apathy has also somewhat contributed towards Mominul's mindset, at least when he speaks in public about it. He has always maintained distance when talking about his high batting average and as the successive fifties kept growing, he looked less at ease. Tamim , known to be a big fan of Mominul, said on the fourth day when Mominul got out for 30 that he was disappointed that he didn't touch the world record but also that Mominul himself didn't think much of it.
"I don't know if he is disappointed because from what I know he doesn't care about records," Tamim said. "But personally I was really disappointed because I wanted him to get the fifty and complete the record. But unfortunately, this was the Test that he had to face for the record where around 120 overs were bowled in four days. So it would have been good if someone from Bangladesh could have entered the record books."
It is hard to disagree with what Tamim said. Mominul has set the bar high, and every young batsman should aim to jump and reach it. For that, Mominul should be thanked, not derided or seen suspiciously.