Mominul eager to rectify short-ball problems

"Most bowlers will tend to bowl here [points at his right rib cage] when I will play in overseas conditions"

“Most bowlers will tend to bowl here [points at his right rib cage] when I will play in overseas conditions”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Bangladesh batsman Mominul Haque has revealed that he is working on playing short-pitched deliveries in preparation for the national team’s tour of the West Indies. 

Haque started working on playing short-pitched deliveries after Zimbabwe’s pace duo of Kyle Jarvis and Shingi Masakadza pushed him to his limits last year. 

“I haven’t thought of [opponents knowing more about me] as a challenge specifically,” Haque told ESPNcricinfo. “But because of my height, most bowlers will tend to bowl here [points at his right rib cage] when I will play in overseas conditions. So that in itself is the main challenge. I have to find out runs from these lengths.

“I have been working on batting off my back foot since returning from the A team’s tour of West Indies. As soon as you make some runs, the opposition will start working on your strengths and weaknesses. So you have to improve further.”

Haque was also uncomfortable against short-pitched bowling when Bangladesh played Sri Lanka and New Zealand. 

“I hadn’t played too many Test matches, so they bowled at my favoured zone,” he said. “They didn’t know much about me. Most of the time I found runs with the cut. But against Sri Lanka, they just didn’t give me anything to cut, so I had to look for other means to find runs. They tried to bowl to me away from my favoured areas.”

Haque also stated that he prefers having long breaks between Test series since it gives him ample time to rectify his problems. 

“I see it in a positive way,” he said. “I think sometimes it is better to get some time to improve one’s game. There is obviously a negative side to it: we are playing fewer Tests than other countries.”

Even though he will be in highly foreign conditions, Haque is determined to build on the strong start he has made to his Test career.

“I personally feel it is an important tour for me, and many of my teammates,” he said. “We have a new coach in place too, so it is going to be the same for all of us. People have an expectation on me now. So if I have to live up to that, I have to play well, and hold on to that average. In ODIs, I don’t have that good an average, so I have to better that too.

“If I bat at No 3, I have to bat according to the team’s situation. I will try to play as I have done before, and I have some idea which areas they would attack. I don’t find any extra pressure but I want to show that I have improved with the time I have had to work on my game.”

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