Mominul Haque scored 176 in the first Test against Sri Lanka    AFP
Mominul Haque scored 176 in the first Test against Sri Lanka AFP

Two half-centuries that is precisely what Mominul Haque‘s achievements in Tests was in 2017. The promising top-order batsman was clearly struggling with his own problems. However, he fought against the odds in the right way to get his form back and score a double-hundred in Bangladesh‘s domestic circuit to be picked for the first Sri Lanka Test and then blast 176 runs to announce his comeback. Mominul’s mentor, Mohammad Salahuddin, explains how the 26-year-old cricketer rectified the loopholes in his technique en route to the fine knock.

In a recent interview with bdnews24.com, Salahuddin said he noticed that something was off with Mominul’s footwork and that is where the solution lay. “Mominul was always fluent against spin but in recent times, I had seen something wrong with his initial foot movement. He was taking a step while playing the shot. Spinners usually bowl a fuller length so that step was restricting his options. Spin bowlers understood this problem and trapped him. I worked on his initial movement, which he practiced,” he said.

“He was happy that it worked in the first BCL match. He kept working at it and got results. You saw him on the first day how he played in front, back, stepped out and used the entire crease. He used his feet to thwart the spinners who couldn’t guess what he was doing,” he added.

However, Salahuddin believes the issue could have been resolved by national team coaching staff before it hampered Mominul’s form as much as it did.

“I was surprised when someone said that he was weak against the short ball. I was shocked when I heard that he was weak against spin. There aren’t many in Bangladesh who play spin better than Mominul. Mominul’s issue was technical. It isn’t that he never scored runs. A batsman can have a problem. They sometimes can’t catch it quickly since they are always playing matches. So it is the coach’s responsibility to identify and rectify the problem. It is easy to cast him aside but that’s not the solution,” he said.

Salahuddin also blamed Bangladesh for playing very few Tests in a calendar year.

“You will notice that Mominul hadn’t made a century after getting dropped from the ODI squad. The reality, at least in Bangladesh, is that it is hard to keep form by only playing Tests. We play fewer Tests. It is hard to only work on your own, away from the team. I am sure that given the opportunity, he could play such innings in ODIs too. This is not an excuse though. It is not just working on your batting but such long breaks also has an effect on a cricketer’s mentality. It is tough to motivate oneself. Mominul has been able to remain strong, but anyone else would have been dropped by now. Bangladesh cricket has many such examples,” Salahuddin concluded.