Mushfiq and his love of reverse sweeps once again came under limelight after he got bowled while trying to hit that stroke against Simon Harmer on Day 3 of the Port Elizabeth Test against South Africa. Mushfiq has received a lot of flak for attempting that high-risk shot just five minutes before the Lunch interval. But Test captain Mominul Haque defended his senior teammates’ decision to play a reverse sweep at such a critical juncture of the match.

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“About Mushfiq bhai’s dismissal… I don’t know, I think you guys are talking too much about it. You can (definitely) talk about it. But whether it’s Test, ODI or Twenty20, reverse sweep is a cricketing shot, isn’t it? It’s nothing unusual. He can of course play this shot. If it’s part of his plan, then he should definitely play it. It’s not like he hasn’t scored runs playing that shot before. I support him in this matter,” Mominul said in the post-match press conference after Bangladesh lost the second Test by 332 runs.

Mominul also reminded the media that a reverse sweep is an effective shot against spin bowling, “Many of you have been watching the game longer than me. From Sri Lanka to anywhere else, when the ball starts turning on pitches like this, there aren’t too many other options other than playing sweeps and reverse sweeps. He is very successful in playing reverse sweeps. Maybe (he thought) the bowler would change (his plan) if he played that shot.”

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Mominul also said that Mushfiq was distraught after his dismissal, “He was feeling disappointed as a player, after he got out after scoring a fifty. He was feeling guilty. He scored some runs after a while and big players make such an opportunity count. That’s why he was feeling guilty. Had he stretched his innings, the situation would've been different.”

When asked whether Mushfiq was questioned by anyone in the dressing room for his shot selection, Mominul dodged the question.

The Bangladesh captain requested the media to stop talking about Mushfiq’s ill-fated attempts of playing reverse sweeps, “I request you all to not talk too much about it, it will be better for the Bangladesh team. If you press too much about this issue, it will be bad for the Bangladesh team and the country.”

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Before getting out, Mushfiq ended a dry spell with the bat in Tests. He had only one half-century in his previous 10 Test innings before scoring 51 in the first innings of the second Test against South Africa. Mominul, on the other hand, failed to get into double figures in the entire series.

Mominul, however, claimed that he is not worried about his form, “I can have a couple of bad games, that doesn’t mean that I have lost my form… I am not too worried. I know how to score runs. I have gone through such spells before and have come out of it scoring big runs.”

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