Bangladesh skipper Mominul Haque is confident that the added responsibility will not affect his batting, which will make or break his team’s chances of upstaging an accomplished India in the Test series starting in Indore on Thursday.
The 28-year-old has replaced Shakib Al Hasan, who was banned for two years (one year suspended) by the International Cricket Council for failing to report multiple corrupt approaches.
Haque is also the team’s premier batsman with eight hundreds in 36 Tests. “I am not feeling pressure just because I have been appointed captain. The way I batted before captaincy...I will bat in the same way now,” he said.
He added, “I always try to think about the positive aspects. There are a few positives in being captain as well. Your knowledge about the game increases. You tend to become more responsible as a player. So I think, it will help me improve my performance.”
Haque says he doesn’t feel the pressure as expectations have been low-key ahead of the Test series. When asked about India’s pace bowling might, the southpaw said: “India is such a team that they can challenge different opponents in different ways. Maybe, they will challenge us with spin. We are ready to face both spin and pace. Definitely, it will be tough for us. But we are preparing to face it.”
Haque pointed at the attitudinal shift in Bangladesh from the past two decades. “I think the mentality of players has changed. Players have become more disciplined. Also they are more eager to play five-day games as well,” he said.
While Virat Kohli picked out left-armer Mustafizur Rahman as a threat, Haque didn’t disclose whether the pacer will be a part of playing XI. “We have not planned about the team and the playing eleven has not been selected yet. You will know tomorrow if he plays,” he said.
Despite the absence of Shakib and senior batsman Tamim Iqbal, Haque said his young side is ready for the challenge. “I think three players are missing because Shakib bhai is equal to two players. Yes, it will be challenging. But there is no scope of thinking about it too much now,” he said. We have to move away. I think due to their absence, everyone is more focused and will play with extra responsibility.”