‘Can’t play too defensively on these pitches’ – Mominul Haque

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“I don’t think anyone here believes in the process. Without results, it is very difficult,” says Bangladesh captain

Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque said that playing too defensively against Pakistan in the second Test cost his side wickets, holding that the batters needed to look for runs to have a better chance of surviving on a turning pitch at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.

The home side were about 20 minutes away from drawing the Test after three partnerships in the lower-middle order dragged them further in the game. They were following on after getting bowled out for 87 in the first innings, where many of Bangladesh’s batters took risks that didn’t pay off.

“I really don’t think we played aggressively in either innings,” Mominul said after Bangladesh’s defeat in Dhaka. “I am really surprised with the question. If you keep defending the ball, when will you score the runs? Those who got out, they were taking a calculated risk. You feel this way because they got out. You have to take runs when it is available. I think things would have been easy had our top four made runs. When you don’t score in the top order, life becomes difficult for the rest of the line-up.”

Mominul said that Mehidy Hasan Miraz’s lbw dismissal in the last hour on the fifth day illustrated his theory that a less defensive approach, or body language, would have made him play the sweep shot with more purpose.

“Shakib bhai and (Mehidy Hasan) Miraz nearly got us over the pressure situation. I think Miraz played too defensively against the offspinner, which cost him his wicket. If he was positive, he would have connected the ball properly,” Mominul said.

He also defended the first-innings dismissals of Mushfiqur Rahim, who slog-swept to short midwicket, and Liton Das’ caught and bowled trying to go down the wicket.

“It was tough to bat out there but Mushfiq bhai, Shakib bhai and Liton tried hard. I think Mushfiq bhai took the right option (in the first innings) to play square of the wicket. Liton could have hit a four off that ball (in the first innings). You can’t play too defensively on these pitches. Runs are important regardless of the format. It is difficult to play if you only focus on defending the ball. I think Mushfiq bhai was unlucky. If his bat was slightly grounded, he would have been saved.”

Mominul also said that the overwhelming focus on results in Bangladesh meant that implementing a process for long-term changes was difficult.

“I have been unable (to reform the Test side),” Mominul said. “At the end of the day, everyone wants results. I don’t think anyone here believes in the process. Without results, it is very difficult.

“Captaincy is challenging, but I don’t think you can call it tough. I am in this seat because I took on the challenge. Not many take up this challenge. I think it is a privilege. When the team goes through such a phase, it is important how you react (as a captain). I am taking this positively.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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