Monimul Haque © AFP
Monimul Haque © AFP

Monimul Haque anchored the Bangladesh innings by contributing 176 to a total of 513 in the first Test against Sri Lanka. Monimul scored his first century in four years. His innings consisted of 16 fours and one six with a strike rate of 82.

Monimul was not picked for the playing XI against Sri Lanka during their 100th Test and even left out of the side in the opening Test against Australia at home, last year. He was criticised by the team management for batting too slow and his recurrent problems against short balls and off-spin.

His fist-pump celebration was a proof of how important the knock was for him. As reported by Cricbuzz, Monimul admitted that his teammates and fans supported him when he was having a rough patch.

It was my own challenge

“I wasn’t thinking about the past,” Mominul, however insisted when asked if he felt he had a point to prove. “I was getting out in the 60s, 70s or 80 so I challenged myself to get a big score.”The teammates supported me a lot, and when I was going through a hard time I got the support from the whole country. There’s no specific reason [behind that celebration]. It was my own challenge. I haven’t been scoring a hundred for a long time, so I was happy to reach the milestone,” he added.

Monimul opened up about how he focuses more on sessions than on runs and admits working more on mental side of the game than technical.

“It would be wrong to say [that] I am not satisfied with the effort. I am happy with the innings. I should have probably played a bit longer, perhaps another session,” said Mominul.”One has to bat session by session to get from 150 to 200. I think previously I used to bat for myself, when I got to 70s or 80s. Now that’s over. I am now focused on [playing] session by session, so that I can get a bigger score.

“I didn’t work on anything technical. He [Mohammad Salahuddin, his mentor] just told me to do certain things. I just worked on the mental side of the game.”

Monimul was out when the score was 376, Bangladesh could only manage 137 more runs before getting all out. He believes his stay at the crease for more sessions would have taken the first innings score above 600.

“I think my dismissal caused the problem. When you are 170-odd not out, everyone would expect you to bat a couple of sessions more. If I had batted longer, we would have been [able to score] 600-plus.” he concluded.