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April 21, 2006
Dav Whatmore and Habibul Bashar have said that Bangladesh need to overcome their dismal second-innings batting record if they want to compete in Test cricket. By scoring 304 in the second innings at Chittagong Bangladesh salvaged some pride, but both coach and captain agreed it was an effort that should have come in the first Test.
"The team doesn't really know how close they came to causing a major upset," he has been quoted as saying by the website, tigercricket.com. "The batting sometimes remains an area of concern. It was a total contrast between the first and second innings of the Test matches. The first innings in Dhaka was good, the second innings not so good. So we need to be a bit more consistent in getting those runs."
Bashar agreed with Whatmore but believed that the biggest achievement of the series was regaining the self-belief. "We feel now that we can push any team in the world," he said. "We are showing improvement which is most important. As Dav has said, we have to be more consistent with our batting, but we have improved."
He singled out just two players - Shahriar Nafees and Mohammad Rafique - for their good showing and added that the team performance left much to be desired. "There have been some positives, like Nafees' batting, Rafique's bowling and batting. But I am not satisfied with the performances of a couple of guys," he said. "We need not just one batsman to score runs but one or two around him should do the job too. I also think we need someone to support Rafique when he is not taking wickets, someone who can cover for him."
Bashar said that he had expected Nafees, Bangladesh's highest run-getter in the two Tests, to score a lot of runs but admitted Jason Gillespie's double hundred was a surprise. "We have seen how someone in their team inevitably contributes when needed. Our tail can learn a great deal from Gillespie," he said. "Not only his double century, he was also involved in a big partnership with Adam Gilchrist in the first Test when they were in a corner and Brett Lee also took the game away from us with his batting in the second innings. The bottom line is we all need to work a bit more harder."
He defended his bowlers to some extent, however, when he mentioned the dead pitches and the opposing spinners - Shane Warne and Stuart MacGill. "The wicket was too flat. There was no turn for us," he said. "They had two wrist spinners and they could spin the ball on any surface. For us it was difficult because our spinners are finger spinners."
Both sides now face off for three one-day matches beginning at Chittagong on Sunday.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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