Siddons blames bowlers for drubbing
In a tournament that has witnessed two high-intensity one-dayers, all three matches featuring Bangladesh have been frustratingly one-sided. After going down by six wickets to India (116 balls remaining), to Sri Lanka by 126 runs, they were blown away by Shahid Afridi's hurricane century and lost by 139 runs.
The Bangladesh bowling has been toothless all tournament, managing only 15 wickets in three matches. Mashrafe Mortaza, their most successful fast bowler, has been a shadow of himself, and the supporting quicks have also been unable to check the runs. That has meant that when Bangladesh's spinners, the strongest suit of their bowling, come into the attack, the opposition is already away to a cracking start.
"Our bowling stocks are pretty depleted at the moment, with Mashrafe coming back from injury," Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach, said. "[Chasing] 385, 315 and India would have made 350 probably in the first game. I'm pointing my finger straight at the bowling attack for putting too much pressure on our batting."
After being caned for 385 by Afridi and Co, Bangladesh's batsmen shut shop almost as soon as their top batsman Tamim Iqbal was dismissed in the eighth over. "It was an impossible target for us at the moment, we still lost five-six wickets getting to 245," Siddons said. "I'm not going to let anyone criticize the team for our approach. If Tamim had made 150, we could have chased 350-380, that was our plan, he went out there to be aggressive, if he had his day like Afridi, anything's possible but Imrul [Kayes] and Junaid [Siddique] had no chance of making 385 off their bat, no chance."
Siddons was largely satisfied with the batting effort though the side finished a long way short of the target. "We probably should have got 270 today, that should win most games for teams with a decent bowling attack," he said. "It is ridiculous to say 'why didn't you go out slogging', we couldn't have done that without getting all out for another score of 140."
The trouble for Bangladesh is the players that they have invested in, and given plenty of opportunities to, were off-colour all tournament. "Shakib [Al Hasan]'s definitely way out of form, Mahmudullah faced seven deliveries, didn't see the ball he reckons, didn't score off seven balls," Siddons said. "Mushfiqur [Rahim] failed three times in a row, so it was left to Tamim and Imrul for the whole tournament, it's disappointing, I hope they click pretty soon, we have done a lot of work on them."
The shallow talent pool in Bangladesh is also a cause for concern. "The 15 guys that we have carried for most of the year are the pool for the World Cup," he said. "Trust me there are no Sachin Tendulkars, no Virender Sehwag, no Dilshans we are leaving behind."
The team now has a week off before they head to England for the one-day leg of their tour. Unless the middle-order revives itself and the fast bowling proves more potent in the more helpful conditions in England, another drubbing awaits.
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at Cricinfo