Bangladesh v Australia, 2nd ODI, Fatullah April 27, 2006

Batting collapse is a concern - Ponting

Cricinfo staff

' It was difficult to play a free-flowing game. It was a working-class day' - Andrew Symonds © Getty Images

The recent one-day batting collapses of both Bangladesh and Australia have left Habibul Bashar and Ricky Ponting concerned and searching for answers.

With their second straight win, Australia won the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh but Ponting expressed concerns over the collapses. "The only concern that has come out in the last couple of games for us has been the fact that we have lost groups of wickets," Ponting told AAP. "Some of them we always talk about not doing, but unfortunately we have done it in the last couple of matches, we have another game now to make sure we rectify that."

However, Ponting added his satisfaction over the series victory with one match in hand. "It is always nice to win any series. We had a lot of pressure in both the games. Today it was pleasing to see that Andrew [Symonds] and Michael [Clarke] play very well in tough situation and we are looking forward to the other game. The innings by Andrew was a sign of his maturity, and how far he has come in this game. Michael didn't play a typical knock too."

Symonds, who was dismissed for a first-ball duck in the first ODI, reckoned the wicket didn't allow him to play his natural game. "It was difficult to play a free-flowing game," he said. "It was a working-class day. Clarke and I bat a lot together so we got our heads together."

For the second match in running, the top order didn't perform for Bangladesh. "I am upset and worried with the way we lost too many wickets in the early stage," Bashar, the captain, said. "We did it in the first match and repeated in the second. I think this was the reason we lost our way."

Bashar was grilled about the decision to send Khaled Mashud, the wicketkeeper, ahead of Alok Kapali. Mashud made a scratchy 36 off 62 balls. "It could have been better if we had sent Alok early, said Bashar. "But holding Alok back was a management decision as we wanted to keep one batsman late in the order so that someone could bat through, if required. Mashud went in early because we lost quick wickets. We wanted to be flexible in the match. If we didn't lose wickets early, we would have sent Alok ahead."

Bashar admitted that the absence of Aftab Ahmed was felt. "The last minute omission of Aftab definitely affected us. Ashraful [who was axed ahead of the game] might or might not have scored and nobody can control these things in cricket. Batting in the second-half wasn't that easy on this wicket, unlike the situation in Cardiff. Also, losing too many early wickets forced us on the back foot. I think we were struggling to use this wicket to our benefit. Symonds and Clarke batted really well and we failed to take wickets when we needed them."