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September 13, 2008
"I think bowling and fielding-wise, the tour was good, but the batting was terrible," Alam told the Daily Star. "The batting in the last match was especially frustrating as we lost an opportunity while chasing 198 runs. Our batsmen surrendered meekly against the Australian pace attack."
Alam, who travelled with the team to Darwin, spoke about some of the factors which may have hampered Bangladesh's progress. "I don't want to give any excuses but the wicket was not perfect for one-day cricket," he said. "With the absence of Aftab Ahmed, Mushfiqur Rahim, Raqibul Hasan and Shahriar Nafees, we had a depleted batting line-up. Unfortunately, over the last few months, we have never had a full-strength team due to injuries or players attending exams."
When asked about the fate of Mohammad Ashraful's captaincy and coach Jamie Siddons' statements about his poor batting form, Alam said: "Its not in my jurisdiction because the board has the sole authority to decide on the issue.
"I can say that Ashraful was not bad as a captain because the way he handled the bowlers and changed fielding positions was good," he said. "But the main problem is that he has struggled with his batting."
Alam said he was looking forward to the upcoming home series against New Zealand. "We'll get back a full-strength squad and most importantly, we will play in our own conditions," he said. "We are pinning our hopes on an improvement in our batting [compared to what was] seen during the Kitply Cup and the Asia Cup in Pakistan. I am hopeful that the players will get back their confidence in the coming series."
Bangladesh started their tour on the poor note when they lost the first ODI by a massive 180-run margin after being bowled out for 74, their lowest score in one-day internationals. In the second match, they continued from where they left off, folding for 117 on the way to an eight-wicket loss. They had a chance to earn a consolation win in the third ODI, but besides Tamim Iqbal, who top scored with 63, none of their batsmen where up to the task.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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