Mominul doesn’t relaise that he can be a very good batsman in one-day cricket
In 2012, a young lad with a boyish look made his debut for Bangladesh in one-day internationals to replace Shakib Al Hasan. In his first series, Mominul Haque impressed with the ball and bat. During the following year, he was found batting in a Test match against Sri Lanka where his fluid wrists caught the eye of critics and in the same year he earned the tag “Pocket-sized dynamo” for scoring a jaw-dropping hundred against New Zealand in a Test match. Since 2013, Mominul had become a part and parcel of Test side at number 3.
But his performance in the 50-over formats started to decline and it has come at a stage, from where, even the best of optimists cannot be hopeful of his revival.
Bangladesh at the moment are still struggling to find the ideal number 3 batsman in 50-over formats and with someone like Mominul around, I don’t think, it should have been a worry if his bat was on song. But sadly, consistently, he is cutting a frustrating figure.
5, 9, 1, 3 and 15 had been his score in the last five ODIs and he averages just 7 with the bat this year, which is better than 2015, when he averaged just 2. Such numbers are not justified enough for a batsman, who is so gifted.
Why Mominul is struggling so much in ODI cricket?
Is it because he doesn’t apply the different technique for different formats?
Perhaps, Mominul lacks a different technique and approach to succeed in 50-over formats. In white clothes, he can have time to assess the situation, but in the 50-over formats, the time is less and for which, he needs to act quickly.
In Test cricket, Mominul may rely on boundaries more to build his innings, but in ODIs, such a ploy cannot always bring better results. Mominul needs to pick the gaps and manoeuvre the strike as much as possible as this would help to regain his confidence. But so far, he seemed reluctant to do such.
As the numbers suggest, so far, 44% of the times he had been out caught by other fielders and on 20% occasions he had been caught behind – an indication of his lack of throwing it away, which crops up from lack of confidence. Mominul’s tendency to rely on boundaries create an unnecessary pressure on him, which ultimately prompts him to play rash strokes and thus, his ODI career remains stagnant until now.
Meanwhile, that 20 % were the results of a lack of a slip fielder in 50-over formats, which entice him to poke outside off – he curb such an instinct in Test cricket, but in 50-over formats, he falls into the trap by playing with an angled bat, thinking he would get away due to a vacant-slip-cordon.
His teammates, Mahmudullah Riyad and Mushfiqur Rahim are big hitters as well, but they don’t go after the bowling from the word go, but gain their confidence via putting the pressure back to the fielders – a ploy which Michael Bevan and Michael Hussey used to do in their heydays.
The mantra of one-day cricket is not just about hitting the ball all over the park like T20s, but like Test cricket, adaptation and strike-rotation are extremely important. The difference is, you need to act quickly.
Moreover, Mominul must not forget, he has the ability to hit the ball better, as because, he is one of those batters, who can be a freewheeling force not because of enough power on the bat, but pristine timing. This is an asset and I don’t think Mominul realise this. He can fetch enough 4s if not 6s by virtue of his timing, but to do such, he needs to have the right attitude for 50-over format: Give time to build an innings and then, the rest will follow automatically.