Ashraful asks for more from openers
Bangladesh will rework their top order for the final ODI against Australia as they aim to avoid another sub-par performance. Junaid Siddique has been rewarded for a promising effort at No. 3 in the second match and will open alongside Tamim Iqbal for Saturday's game.
Mehrab Hossain jnr has had a miserable series as opener, scoring 0 and 1 and looking uncomfortable against the swinging ball. He was promoted after scoring a century in the final warm-up match but the captain Mohammad Ashraful said Bangladesh could not afford any more top-order collapses.
"In the second game Australian new-ball bowlers bowled well," Ashraful said. "Our two openers get out very early. The problem is we need an opening start, like ten overs or 12 overs they can stay there. Junaid played good cricket last game, I think he will open tomorrow with Tamim."
Junaid missed the first match and was included at No. 3 for the second game, although he ended up facing the second ball of the day when Nathan Bracken struck immediately. His calm 21 from 44 deliveries helped Bangladesh steady on Wednesday, although they still lost by eight wickets.
Ashraful said their two big losses in Darwin were particularly disappointing given the positive cricket the team had played recently. He conceded Bangladesh had not had the results they would have liked in the past few months but he felt they showed some promising signs at the Asia Cup and in June's tri-series in Bangladesh.
"After the World Cup our performance graph is going down, it's true, because I'm a new captain and new coach also, and the team is also a very new, young side," Ashraful. "Last two series our team did well."
Following their two thrashings at the hands of Australia, Bangladesh are simply aiming for a competitive showing in Saturday's finale. "We are practicing really hard but the results are not coming," Ashraful said. "Although we are a young and very talented side, we need a little bit of experience."
Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo