Mominul backs Bangladesh quicks to 'play a big role' in South Africa

Captain says if team follows the blueprint that led them to victory in New Zealand in January, they will be fine

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Mominul Haque punches one away, New Zealand vs Bangladesh, 1st Test, Mount Maunganui, Day 3, January 3, 2022

Mominul Haque: If you want to win Tests abroad, pace bowlers have to do well  •  Getty Images

Over three tours to South Africa, Bangladesh's batters have averaged 18.05 and their bowlers 77.97. Even five years ago when they arrived fresh from drawing a home Test series against Australia, the results were very much less than flattering.
Bangladesh misread the pitches, had batting frailties exposed by seriously fast bowling, suffered because of their bowlers' inexperience and that was just the beginning.
Times have changed now. Bangladesh are riding high as a touring side after their famous win over New Zealand in January, not to mention the ODI series win in South Africa last week. So when their captain came out to speak to the press in Durban, he looked like a million bucks.
"When you start a tour with an ODI series win, it really raises the team's confidence," Mominul Haque said. "Of course we have to start afresh in this Test series, and there are differences between white- and red-ball cricket. But we have confidence from the New Zealand tour. We have to play like we did in New Zealand, follow those processes, which will bring us more confidence."
Half of that confidence comes from an improved bowling attack in which the fast bowlers and spinners have combined well recently. Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam and Ebadot Hossain have all tasted success in the last three months, and Mominul believes they have the ability to bring them wickets.
"If you want to win Tests abroad, pace bowlers have to do well. If they can bring us breakthroughs at the right time, they will have a big role. They have rested and recovered over the last week. They are in good mood. They are all in good shape, physically and mentally.
"South African wickets are helpful towards fast bowlers but regardless of the conditions, we have to bowl well. We have to maintain discipline in our line and length wherever you bowl. You have to put the batters under pressure."
Mominul is also aware that the opposition has lost some of its main players to IPL commitments. But he didn't want to make too much of it.
"We might get some advantage through our experience, but they too will have home advantage. The team that plays well over 15 sessions in the five days, applies enough pressure, bowls and bats well, for the whole game, will end up winning the game. The team that holds on to the pressure better, will do well."
Regardless of South Africa's intentions, whenever Bangladesh travel abroad, they prepare to face short bowling and Mominul believes the ploy will certainly come into play, especially later in the game.
"Pace bowlers usually resort to bowling short when other plans haven't worked for them. They do it for five to ten overs. It is important how you adjust to that length, withstand that pressure. We have a lot of experienced batters in our line-up, and they know how long bowling attacks can bowl at this length."
Mominul himself has been in good nick off late, but said he will stick to his role of trying to bat out sessions, and keeping his team's interest ahead of his own. "I don't have any personal goals in this series. I usually don't set one. I try to bat session by session, to ensure that I can serve the team to the best of my ability. I try to fulfill the team's goals."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84