Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza gave the full credit to captain Mominul Haque for the historical Test victory against New Zealand at Bay Oval in Mount Maungunai.
According to him, the way Mominul led the side and motivated the players in absence of two key players - Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal - is exemplary.
"Where there is no Shakib and Tamim, the strength of the team downs to less than 50 percent. From this situation, it is extremely tough to win against a major side and that too on their soil. It was beyond imagination," Mashrafe said here today.
"But Bangladesh dominated full five days, so how can it be a fluke? I think captain Mominul Haque should be solely credited for this victory. He motivated the players and led by example. There was also Khaled Mahmud Sujon, who is also a great motivator."
Mominul was given the Test captaincy at a time when Bangladesh cricket was going through a tumultuous period. Mushfiqur Rahim was stripped off from the Test captaincy and Shakib was made captain. But before he led the side in any Test, he was banned by ICC for two years.
Mominul then was given the captaincy but Bangladesh remained in the circle of defeat in this format. "I don't know whether Mominul was prepared to do the job. He was given captaincy at the very worst time of Bangladesh cricket. From that juncture it was tough to bring the shape of the team and Bangladesh were in perpetual losing spree. But Mominul with steely resolve kept the team united and it paid off now," Mashrafe remarked.
Mominul was the highest score for the side in the first innings with 88 as Bangladesh compiled 458 and took a handy 130-run lead. Pace bowler Ebadot Hossain then claimed 6-46 to wrap up New Zealand for 169 in the second innings, giving Bangladesh only 40 runs to chase for a victory.
Bangladesh won the game by eight wickets at they reached 42-2 in the first session of fifth day.
"You have to give your pacers some time. Ebadot is the example. He couldn't do well but the team management kept him as the integral part of the Test team. Ebadot knew the Test cricket is his future and so he kept working hard and working hard. He now reaped the rewards," Mashrafe said.
"There is also Abu Jayed Rahi, Taskin Ahmed who have been doing well for sometimes now. Ebadot also did well in the last BPL. But since the wicket of Bangladesh doesn't favour the pacers, they couldn't do anything worthy."