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Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque (L) is watched by teammate Imrul Kayes during a training session at Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on 12 November 2019, ahead of the first Test match between India and Bangladesh. Photo: AFP

Mominul sees India series a great opportunity for Tigers

WT24 Desk

Bangladesh captain Mominul Haque said Wednesday the absence of banned all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan will be like missing two players, as the team prepared for their two-Test series in India, AFP reports.

Bangladesh arrived in India in shock after Shakib was handed a two-year ban, with one-year suspended, for failing to declare illegal approaches by a bookmaker in 2018.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) ban ruled Shakib out of the tour and next year’s World T20 in Australia.

The touring side is also missing prolific opener Tamim Iqbal, who took a break due to family reasons.

“We are missing three players in two players. Shakib bhai (brother) is two players in one, and then you have Tamim bhai,” Mominul told reporters on the eve of the first Test in Indore starting Thursday.

“It is challenging, but I also see it as a chance to do well for the rest of the players.”

Mominul, much to his surprise, was named Test captain in place of Shakib and the batsman feels the responsibility will only make him a better player.

“I will probably be playing like I have always played as a batsman,” said the left-hander.

“The positive side of captaincy is that your cricket gyan (knowledge) becomes better.”

The 28-year-old added: “It is a huge opportunity for me as one of the junior players. Not everyone becomes Test captain, so I want to take this opportunity to do something more for the country.”

The series is Bangladesh’s first in the newly introduced world Test championship led by India with two series sweeps under their belt.

Mominul said it was a “great opportunity” for Bangladesh’s players to make an impression.

“Playing a full series against India is a great opportunity for everyone in the team,” said Mominul.

“Everyone wants to start well here, and on top of it we are playing the Test championship. Makes it a bigger opportunity for the players.”

The second match of the series will be a day-night affair with the pink ball making its India debut at Kolkata’s Eden Gardens.

Mominul said “neither side has played pink-ball cricket”, and that would spur them on to do well in the series. 

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