‘We do not have a better option than Mominul’

Shakib Al Hasan and Mominul Haque. Photo: Firoz Ahmed

Bangladesh Test captain Mominul Haque has been in the firing line in recent times following his below-par performance with the bat, and the left-hander once again failed miserably in the ongoing second Test against Sri Lanka in Mirpur.

The scores reading 0, 37, 0, 2, 6, 5, 2, 9, 0 in his last nine innings reflect Mominul's horrible form. This led to the question being raised whether the burden of captaincy is getting the better of the left-hander.

However, Shakib Al Hasan backed the skipper saying that given the current condition of Bangladesh in Tests, there is no other better option than Mominul.

"It is a very tough time for a captain but the most important thing is how we support him in such a situation. Given our current condition in the Test format, we actually don't have any better option than Mominul. So we need to support him and I think it is a matter of a good innings and everything will change," Shakib told the media after the cricketer bagged his 19th five-wicket haul in Tests today.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh are still trailing by another 107 runs with the two centurions of the first innings -- Mushfiqur Rahim and Liton Das -- to resume the fifth and final day's play on 34 for four. The duo had saved the Tigers from a slump in the first innings when the Tigers lost five for 24. 

In the second innings as well, Bangladesh, at one point, were reduced to 24 for four as the Tigers' top-order once again failed miserably to tackle the Lankan seamers.

Just when the Tigers needed some stability coming in the final hour of the day, Mominul disappointed after he poked a delivery going away from the left-hander and ended up being caught behind.

"The situation is difficult, although the pitch is not that difficult to bat on. But when we field for two and half days, it's tough to bat on the fourth day. Perhaps the players are a bit tired too since both the Test matches have gone till the fifth day. In such situations, it's tough for the top-order batters to bat and we were unable to handle the pressure. Unfortunately, this has been going on in recent times for the Bangladesh team.

"Even when I was not playing, it was the same. Now that I am back on the team, the situation has not changed as we failed quite a few times in the second innings in the recent past. There was room to improve in that aspect but once again we failed. But since we still have a day left in the Test match it won't be right to say anything until it's over," Shakib said.