Giving away wickets to the spinners abroad is a big crime: Mominul Haque

Bangladesh Test skipper Mominul Haque was not happy with the way his team had performed in the ongoing Test series at Durban. As the team bundled out for just 53 runs and suffered a huge loss of 220 runs against South Africa, Mominul Haque criticized the team’s batting and said that it was a crime to give wickets to spinners on foreign soil. 

South Africa used just a couple of bowlers-Keshav Maharaj and Simon Harmer- to take down Bangladesh in the second innings. 

”I think we failed to handle the pressure after losing three wickets yesterday because I don’t see any other reason,” Mominul told reporters after the game. 

He added that the team had played good cricket throughout the series and there are a lot of positives to take from the game. ”We played good cricket for four days and played badly only during the last session of yesterday and today. ‘It’s not that we played badly for five days and there are lots of positives that we can take, and if we make ourselves mentally strong, we can surely make a comeback.

‘I need to take the blame on my shoulders’

He said that giving away wickets to the spinners is the biggest crime, and there was always an opportunity to score against them. Adding more about the loss, he said that he takes the blame for the loss. 

”I think giving away wickets to the spinners abroad is a big crime and I think we should not be giving away wickets. I need to take the blame on my shoulders. There is always an opportunity to score runs against the spinners and it was a complete batting failure,” he said.

Before the Test, the Bangladesh team had thought that the South Africa pacers would trouble their batters but it was spinners who did the job for the home team. In fact, in the second innings, South Africa didn’t have to use a third bowler as Maharaj and Harmer took down the visitors completely. Maharaj had seven wickets while Harmer had three. This is the second-lowest total for Bangladesh in Test cricket. 

Incidentally, 14 of the 20 wickets of Bangladesh in this series went to either Maharaj or Harmer. 

When asked about the team combination and why he opted for seven batters, Mominul replied that Bangladesh doesn’t have batting depth like India or other top teams and in order to go with six batters and five bowlers, their team batters must average over 50, he said.

”Look, the last Test that we won, we played with seven batters. If you see, India, Australia, and New Zealand, their batters average more than 50 but that is not the case with us. Our batters will have to average 50, (then) we will play with six batters and five bowlers.

Talking about the reason why he had opted for batting, Mominul said that since it was Durban, Bangladesh and Mominul had thought that the pitch would assist the pacers more. 

“I picked fielding because I felt the pace bowlers can extract something from the wicket. We could have added another spinner at the expense of deducting a pace bowler or could have gone for six batters and five bowlers combination. But I don’t think we still are in such a place that we can go for five batsmen-six bowlers combination while playing abroad,” he said.

Mominul also urged ICC to appoint neutral umpires for all the matches and he also felt that the home team had crossed the line when it comes to sledging.

”I think sledging is part of the game and it is normal but at times it seems they crossed the line and the umpires did not notice that. We don’t have anything in our hands as far as umpires are concerned but I think ICC should go for neutral umpires as there is hardly any Covid anymore.”