Bangladesh v Sri Lanka, 2nd Test, Chittagong, 4th day January 6, 2009

Siddons bemoans overawed batsmen

Cricinfo staff


Bangladesh's batsmen crumbled under the pressure on the fourth day in Chittagong © AFP
 

Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach, admitted he did not expect a 465-run mauling at the hands of Sri Lanka following the application they had shown in the fourth innings in Mirpur, but said they were a bit overawed by the prospect of facing Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis in tandem.

"After the 400 [in the fourth innings] in Dhaka where everyone including me saw huge improvement in the young guys this was not what was expected," Siddons said. "But I still see that six or seven of our first eight batsmen haven't played ten Test matches yet and against two of the world's best bowlers, probably the best bowlers in the world at the moment, it is a tough ask.

"They were also a bit overawed I think. Mendis took three wickets in no time and we were again four for nothing," he said. "I am disappointed that our top four can't consistently make runs and it is always Ash [Mohammad Ashraful], Shakib [Al Hasan] and Mushie [Mushfiqur Rahim], the same three, trying to save our skin. I'm disappointed that we didn't show that we are improving although without doubt we are."

Siddons said the pitch was not to blame, but felt the lack of experienced showed. "The wicket was okay. Some of the players I think were a little inexperienced to handle the pressure that Mendis, Murali and [Chaminda] Vaas put on them. I mean those names bowling at you is pretty tough for a team of players who haven't played ten Test matches.

"I guess our more senior players like Ash, who looked at ease making 45 in the first innings, Shakib, who has played a lot of one-dayers, and Mushfiqur, who has played a fair bit of cricket, showed that experience can help when you have the talent.

"They are getting there and I would love to do this all over again in two years' time with the same guys and I can assure you that we'll be a much better team."

Mahela Jayawardene, the Sri Lanka captain, was "very happy" with the series win. "We knew it was going to be tough considering the conditions we were given," he said. "We knew we had to adjust. We were in trouble at times but the guys showed a lot of fight and character.

"[Tillakaratne] Dilshan in the first innings showed that when we were 75 for 4 and that is something we encourage the boys to do, to be the best they can. I am very proud of the players. We are a good unit and we have very good standards. We just need to continue working hard and improving. At the moment we are fourth in the rankings and we should try and push ourselves further up."