England v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Old Trafford June 3, 2010

Rust-free England target improvement


Match facts

Friday June 4 - Tuesday June 8, 2010
Start time 11.00am (10.00GMT)

Big Picture

It was comfortable in the end, but for the first four days of the Lord's Test, England were made to graft for their rewards against a Bangladesh team that exceeded expectations, and even dominated significant passages of a match that most observers had expected to be over long before the end of the Bank Holiday weekend. But thanks to the bold endeavours of Tamim Iqbal, who blazed a thrilling century from 94 balls, and Shahadat Hossain, who became the first Bangladeshi to etch his name on the honours boards with five first-innings wickets, the underdogs emerged with credit from an entertaining encounter.

All the same, the final margin of victory was emphatic - England hurtled home by eight wickets, having enforced the follow-on and knocked off their target of 160 in a single session - and as Andrew Strauss admitted after the match, he expects better from his charges in this week's second Test, now that they have worked off their early-season rust. In Jonathan Trott, they have a batsman in a rich vein of form following his under-rated 226 in the first innings, while Steven Finn is the talk of Manchester following his nine-wicket haul on a typically flat Lord's deck. Old Trafford is renowned for its pace and bounce, and if he finds the right length to exploit the conditions, another fat haul could be heading his way.

Seeing as Bangladesh claimed six wickets in their entire Test campaign in 2005, and managed to lose two matches inside seven sessions on that ill-fated trip, the extent of their development has already been showcased. The challenge now is to build on the foundations that they laid in the Lord's Test, and try their utmost to hang in for a draw - a result that would represent a major step towards their acceptance as a top-flight Test nation. Given the gung-ho style in which they go about their work, however, that might be expecting too much, but a fighting performance would still put them in a good frame of mind for the three ODIs that follow at the start of next month.

Form guide (last five completed matches)

England WWWLD Bangladesh LLLLL

Watch out for...

Steven Finn has never played a first-class match at Old Trafford - in his brief career, Middlesex have habitually been wallowing in the second division, out of contact with the top-flight Lancastrians - but when quizzed on the conditions, his eyes lit up at the prospect of playing at a pace-friendly venue where Steve Harmison produced arguably the last great performance of his England career, against Pakistan in 2006. As Finn's Middlesex mentor, Angus Fraser, pointed out, the benefits of honing his technique on puddings is that he will be all the more ready to cash in when conditions are in his favour. After three Tests of hard graft, this match could be bonanza-time.

Mushfiqur Rahim made his Test debut on the 2005 tour, and acquitted himself well during the recent home series with a battling 95 in the second innings at Chittagong. Scores of 16 and 0 at Lord's last week were a disappointment, but they do not detract from a high-calibre cricketer who has the mindset to bat for long periods, not to mention a diminutive 5'2" frame that cannot help but disrupt bowlers' lengths. He will want to sign off from this series with a significant contribution.

Team news

The four-bowlers-versus-five question reared its head midway through the Lord's Test, at a time when England were struggling to dislodge an obdurate Bangladeshi top-order, but it's unlikely that any changes to the balance of the side will be unveiled for this match, especially now that the likeliest candidate to bat No. 7 in a five-man attack, Tim Bresnan, is sitting out the game with a stress fracture in his foot. Ajmal Shahzad is getting used to being leapfrogged in the final XI, but having waited patiently for his chance, he could well make his debut at the expense of the late inclusion to the squad, Ryan Sidebottom.

England (probable) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Alastair Cook, 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Ian Bell, 6 Eoin Morgan, 7 Matt Prior (wk), 8 Ajmal Shahzad, 9 Graeme Swann, 10 James Andeson, 11 Steven Finn

Bangladesh's top-order batsmen acquitted themselves as best they could at Lord's, with significant contributions from Nos. 1 to 4. More will be expected of the middle order at Old Trafford, particularly the captain and wicketkeeper axis of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, but it is the bowling that will be the greatest concern to Jamie Siddons and the Bangladesh thinktank. Aside from Shahadat, the seamers were ineffectual at Lord's, and Shafiul Islam will come into the side at the expense of either Rubel Hossain or, more likely, the Lord's debutant, Robiul Islam, with the second spinner, Abdul Razzak, also an option. Tamim, meanwhile, gave Bangladesh a minor scare when he missed training on Wednesday, but he is expected to be passed fit despite the ongoing concerns over his injured wrist.

Bangladesh (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Junaid Siddique, 4 Jahurul Islam, 5 Mohammad Ashraful, 6 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 9 Shafiul Islam, 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Shahadat Hossain

Pitch and conditions

Manchester is not renowned for the most cheerful weather in the world, but the sun has been shining in recent days and the balmy conditions will doubtless be a boon to the Bangladeshis, who visibly struggled whenever the clouds took hold at Lord's. However, if Old Trafford's wicket plays up to its trampoline reputation, it will doubtless be a challenge come rain or shine.

Stats and Trivia

  • Their dominance isn't quite as comprehensive as it used to be, but England are still the only Full Member nation never to have lost an international match against Bangladesh
  • Bangladesh have only played one previous international fixture at Old Trafford, and that finished up as a ten-wicket defeat in June 2005, as Australia exacted emphatic revenge for their humiliation at Cardiff in the preceding week.


"I know the way I bat sometimes looks fantastic, and sometimes looks ugly, but I am happy with the way I play my natural game."
Tamim Iqbal has no plans to temper his style after wowing the Lord's crowd during the first Test

"They are definitely getting closer because more of their batsmen have the belief they can get decent scores. But, like most sides, if you keep chipping away and pressurising them, eventually you will see a collapse of some sort."
Andrew Strauss expects another victory in the second Test, but doesn't expect it to be handed to England on a plate

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • tarek on June 4, 2010, 9:24 GMT

    @shonkhochil Hey did u guyz heard Rod Tucker is back...and he is back on the elite panel...thats hilarious...no wonder if Howard can why not Rod...Best of luck to Elite Panel and Ashoka off course

  • mohammad on June 4, 2010, 7:59 GMT

    tamim have to something today if bangladesh bat first, Otherwise bangladesh face same problem that happened in lords test?

  • Dummy4 on June 4, 2010, 7:54 GMT

    I'm hoping that Shahzad is given a debut today as he is a like-for-like replacement for Bresnan. I do think England should be working towards a five-man attack for both Pakistan and Australia and frankly for Bangladesh too. Prior is good enough to bat at six, so it should be a question of finding an attack that gives Strauss choices. Are Anderson, Finn, Broad, Bresnan and Swann that attack? Where does Onions fit when fit? What about other spinners - you will need two at Sydney and possibly Melbourne? Is it Tredwell, is it Rashid, is it Monty? A word about Bangladesh. There is no doubting their talent nor their enthusiasm, but they lack application at times - you can't hit very delivery to or over the boundary (not even Tamim!) The best is still to come and I look forward to seeing it, but some application and some tactical nous are required which should come with experience and good advice taken and applied.

  • Jairam on June 4, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    @zak123kaif, as an Indian supporter I can certainly comment on team India. While I am glad to see them currently ranked # 1 in Tests,they really can't lay claim to that position until they win a Test series in Australiai and South Africa, neither of which they have done. India's bowling resources are parlous to say the least and if the batsmen perform so abjectly against Zimbabwean spin there isn't much hope for the future especially when the old guard of SRT,RD and VVS take well-deserved retirement.

  • Sunil on June 4, 2010, 7:15 GMT

    This contest should be a better one than the earlier one at LORDS.If someone can get inside the head of Ashraful and make him believe that batting two sessions can make Bangladesh play better...There is raw talent availablle.I still fear for the Bangladesh bowlers KP..is due..

  • Jason on June 4, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    @Shonkhochil, Yes there has been an improvement since Bangladesh were here last time. There may be a factor with the mornings, and the ball moving a little in the especially when its overcast and slightly damp conditions, you also have to consider that the last time Bangladesh toured they faced the bowling of Flintoff, Harmison, Hoggard and Jones. Nafee also said about silly excuses, and using bad umpiring decisions as an excuse is just as silly, games change after a wicket, and its likely that bresnan and Prior wouldnt get out in the same manner or on the same number of runs...@vulcan_hacker, The test would have finished in 4 days or early in the fifth day, had the weather not caused the loss of 2 sessions on Saturday....@Jamrith, you're having a joke, right....@landl47, I agree Bangladesh need to work on thier bowling and also the negative nature of the fielding, they didnt even attempt to take wickets in Englands 2nd innings after the first 3 overs.

  • ashiq on June 4, 2010, 5:29 GMT

    every1 saying about the so called...........bangladeshi batting collapse.............but that was in overcast conditions of a green pitch .............what if england could do if there was a typical subcontinent turning wicket in 5th day................ so for bangladesh that was just a bad luck i guess..............................

  • Md on June 4, 2010, 4:53 GMT

    @jamrith better stop commenting about team India.Seems like you don't watch cricket.First go and find out who has got the best batting line up in test cricket and then write your thoughts.India is no 1 and shall remain there.

  • John on June 4, 2010, 2:22 GMT

    The Bangladesh batsmen have certainly improved and they are now entertaining as well as good players. Unfortunately the bowling hasn't improved to the same degree. England was put in and made 505 and then made 160 for the loss of two wickets (one of those a poor decision) on the fifth day....in one session! Until the Bangladesh bowlers can take 20 wickets in a match they aren't going to win too many games and they don't look even close to that at the moment. England are beginning to look a pretty solid squad in all forms of the game; still room to improve, but they have the talent and the leadership now to play with anyone. Don't forget, before Bangladesh, they tied SA in SA and beat Australia in England. Barring rain, it's hard to see Bangladesh getting even a draw in Manchester.

  • Jairam on June 4, 2010, 0:20 GMT

    To put things in perspective, the much-vaunted Indian test team , # 1 in Tests he he :), would have capitulated much faster than Bangladesh . In fact, if India played Bangladesh at venues like England or South Africa, the results could be intriguing; certainly, Bangladesh's pacemen are better than India's one-man attack (Zaheer Khan) and the same goes for the spinning department.

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