England v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, Old Trafford, 3rd day

Collapse clouds signs of progress

Jamie Siddons remains convinced his team has made strides over the last two weeks

Andrew McGlashan at Old Trafford

June 6, 2010

Comments: 23 | Text size: A | A

James Anderson grabbed Tamim Iqbal second-ball, as Bangladesh slumped towards defeat, England v Bangladesh, 2nd npower Test, Old Trafford, June 6, 2010
Tamim Iqbal was a star performer in this series, but Bangladesh need more of his ilk to silence the doubters © PA Photos

There will be a lot of familiar headlines on Monday after Bangladesh twice subsided inside a session. Sport moves on quickly and the stories will question the team's ability and probably their right to play Test cricket. After providing such impressive resistance at Lord's, and then making England work hard for a day-and-a-half at Old Trafford, it was a bad time to fold so meekly.

However, coach Jamie Siddons remained convinced his team had made strides over the last two weeks. "Don't write us off too much," he said. "If things had gone our way we could have knocked England over for a bit less then it's up to our batsmen. We have two or three who can do that but the others need to catch up. We are still on a learning curve. We are easy-beats when conditions suit here, but certainly not at home or in India or as we showed in New Zealand.

"Whatever they say we've heard it before, no doubt about that," Siddons added about the flak his team will get. "We played three good days at Lord's, our top order was really good and our middle order is normally much better than that. They did come in during some bad conditions at Lord's but here they should have applied themselves better. We've got a couple of players who are standing up but others aren't and we need consistency."

Admittedly 10 years after making their Test debut it is requiring a heap of patience to believe that Bangladesh will eventually become a force in the longer format, but over the last two weeks there have been enough signs that progress is being made. Certainly compared to their visit here five years ago, where the two Tests at Lord's and Chester-le-Street were both wrapped up in little more than two days, there have been significant advances.

Top of that list has been the performance of Tamim Iqbal who scored 268 flamboyant runs in the two matches, while in terms of individual development the performance of Imrul Kayes, his opening partner, has been heartening after he looked a walking wicket in the first innings at Chittagong in March.

Bangladesh are not due to return to England until 2020 but what they need is more overseas experience in these conditions, not less. The problem is, though, that they are a tough product to market and it's a credit to Lancashire that the crowds at Old Trafford have been strong, especially on the opening two days. It is also why players like Tamim are vital because they make the team marketable and will encourage other nations who play in different conditions to invite them.

"We have put in such hard work with the batsmen," Siddons said. "We had a good session with Tamim the other day but the spin was too much. If it spins a lot or swings a lot we are in trouble. Our wickets do spin but our young players aren't used to that sort of pressure. They didn't cope that well.

"When conditions are good and not doing too much we are competitive with any team in the world and can take them to five days," he added. "But we haven't got enough matchwinners to win the games yet. Our fast bowlers aren't good enough to run through sides, but with our spinners, Shakib has shown he can take five-fors and he's a world-class spinner."

However Siddons knows collapses like they produced at Old Trafford do their image no favours and only add fuel to the fire for those who question why they sit at cricket's top table with so little to show for a decade's work.

"I'd hate to come back here and put that performance up again," he admitted. "We need to be better and it takes time to get people ready for that type of swing bowling. We've got Tamim and Shakib, who is a much better player than he showed here. But we have good things to work on, that's what makes coaching this team such fun."

It takes quite a phlegmatic character to be able to think of fun after a 34th innings defeat in 68 Tests, but Siddons has had plenty of experience with dealing with the situation. "You have to pick them up all the time but to their credit they keep coming back."

Bangladesh's next assignment is the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka before they return to England for a three-match one-day series in July. Don't be surprised if over the next month they upset major opposition in a format where their deficiencies aren't so ruthlessly exposed. Progress is being made even if it doesn't always look that way.

Andrew McGlashan is assistant editor of Cricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ToTellUTheTruth on (June 9, 2010, 17:42 GMT)

"If it spins a lot or swings a lot we are in trouble. "...then why play a lot? Just remove the test status already and let them improve their first class structure. BAN playing has become a joke. One player (any one of the 11) gets a decent score and all you writers go gaga about progress. Gimme a break guys. Watching BAN play test cricket is a painful experience. Slaughter of the lambs. How much can BAN fans suffer this and for how long?

Looks like for BAN, Ash is like Tendulkar (minus the talent, dedication, consistency and every other quality that made Tendulkar) - only interms of 'No Drop' insistence. That guy is like a leach. Does nothing but still gets in the team. Awesome. Progress is continuing, only downward. Keep up the good work BCB.

Noww you know why India never wants Ban to tour India...right guys!!!

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (June 8, 2010, 20:54 GMT)

There are various ways of helping Bangladesh develop. One suggestion is simply to cut all Tests against Bangladesh to 4 days: let them learn to avoid defeat by making it easier (New Zealand played 3-day Tests for its first 20 years of Test cricket). Another is to invite Bangladesh "A" to play in the Intercontinental Cup in the same way that Zimbabwe does, thus gaining experience of playing in different conditions around the world against beatable opposition. I don't understand the comments about England refusing to invite them for 10 more years (how many series have they played in India or Australia??) - if it's a problem, get India or Pakistan to play a "home" series against Bangladesh in England, like Pakistan are playing Australia. With so many Asian fans in the UK, you would get good crowds, a great atmosphere and a lot of useful experience in english conditions, quite apart from many thousands of grateful fans who can see their heroes more often.

Posted by CricketingStargazer on (June 8, 2010, 20:11 GMT)

Sometimes it is hard to figure out Bangladesh. At times they can look a highly competitive side even against strong opposition (they have had their moments against India & Australia & should have beaten Pakistan at least once), but the steel isn't there. Even in the 2nd Test in Bangladesh last winter when a draw looked odds-on, you always felt that a collapse was just around the corner. In that particular Test, had they batted 30 minutes longer they would probably have ensured a draw: a side with a 9, 10, Jack with some spirit should be capable of that kind of resistance at home on friendly tracks. In this series there have been some tremendous performances from individuals, but never a sustained team effort. Tamim looks to be a class act, but where is his support? Keyes looked good at times, but got bounced out by Finn every innings, even on a dead Lords pitch & the middle order was, all too often, awful, even when the position was set up for them. They are improving, but too slowly.

Posted by asadkum on (June 8, 2010, 13:46 GMT)

Mohammad Asad from USA..... Ban can not afford to ignore any test match playing opportunity..... I guess they did mistake by cancelling Pak tour due to so-called security reasons... Ban do not have terror atmosphere... they have good playing condition and have millions & millions of cricket fans........ Ban need to prepare some fast / bouncy pitch......... Ban need to re-arrange Pak tour, so that Ban players could bat against some good pace / seam attack...............

Posted by ZsZs on (June 8, 2010, 0:45 GMT)

gmaurup, nicely spoken. From your lips to God's ears.

Posted by gmaurup on (June 7, 2010, 18:34 GMT)

Disappointed? yes. But to me all is not lost. Its true Bd are playing tests for 10 years, but it is also true, no one came out standing strong. Actually 3/4 generations already passed through the 60 odd matches. yielding almost no world beater (habibul and rafique was partially there). But this generation is different. If Tamim, Junaid, Shakib, Mushfiq, Mahmud and Shafiul can be a real core to last 3 more years . The story will be completely different. Bd U19 is among the world tops (thats why cricinfo made a story why they are chokers in U19 world cups!). So things are already different as young pacers like shafiul and rabiul are coming with a lot of exposure and first class experience. We all speak of Sri Lankas rise. But it is true when they won WC they had a core of de silva, ranatunga, mahanama with 7-8 years experience. I think the core is made for Bd. The pipeline is ready. Please stay with us. We will overcome in a couple more years.

Posted by ZsZs on (June 7, 2010, 17:02 GMT)

After Pakistan England tests, I think England will be in Bangladesh, WI, NZ Tier and Pakistan in the India, SA, Aus, SL Tier. Or, if the tiers are split 4/5 then Tier 1: SA, AUS, SL, Ind and Tier 2: Eng, Pak, NZ, BD, WI.

Posted by ZsZs on (June 7, 2010, 14:57 GMT)

I like Daniel_Smith's idea. BD players need exposure, and only then will they improve. The people who say test status should be taken away (Boycott) what do they suggest to help the nation? Only negatives? Give us some ideas... officially from the Gurus to BCB.

Posted by ZsZs on (June 7, 2010, 14:45 GMT)

What dies it mean to have two tier arrangement? How many teams per tier? What teams in what tier?

Posted by Mujaddid on (June 7, 2010, 12:10 GMT)

I am very dissapointed with Bangaldesh Team. They play test cricket like one day games. Even though Tamim who scored back to back centuries in 2 tests could have build his innings and try to save the follow-on. In the second test from 126 without loss it was a non-stop clatter of wickets!! The players must build temperment for longer version of the game.

Posted by Daniel_Smith on (June 7, 2010, 11:08 GMT)

Perhaps it would be a good idea if Bangladesh took part in the County Championship. This would give them great experience of English conditions (not least sitting under an umbrella in constant drizzle).

I know some might regard it as a backwards step, but I think the experience would really help them. Maybe Ireland and the Netherlands could use it as a stepping too.

It's just an idea. I'm not being dismissive of the Tigers. I'm in favour of cricket expanding.

Posted by crashbang on (June 7, 2010, 7:24 GMT)

you talk aboput silence the doubters, maybe if you were not so bias in your comments, we might try and understand more, but at stages ,over the last 3 months you would have thought that England were the loosing side you pumped up Bangladesh so much it was a joke, and Bangladesh has not beaten England in any form of cricket yet, why a good question, i do ask some about there coach, he was always shunned by Australian selectors, even tho he had a good record, even coaching jobs here in Australia never come his way, so they saw him as a problem, we must ask question about the Bangladesh cricket Board what have they really done to help there cause NOTHING

Posted by redneck on (June 7, 2010, 6:08 GMT)

ok so instead of complaining about england not giving bangladesh an invite for another 10 years, look at what bangladesh can do about it! scotland, ireland and the netherlands all have simmilar conditions and all would probably jump at the chance to play bangledesh in a 4 day comp. organise a couple of first class matches against these teams at their home turf. all of these 3 countries have bowlers in the county comps so its not like they will be canon fodder! if bangladesh want to improve in seaming conditions they need to do this! you cant blame england for not being interested in hosting them, when they can give their 10 wickets away in a session!

Posted by plmx on (June 7, 2010, 5:24 GMT)

Not returning till 2020 must be a huge blessing for Bangladesh ("BD"). The embarrassment dished out in the last few days must be unbearable for both BD and those who rushed BD through to Test status. It is unfair to blame the BD cricketers alone. Past reports suggests, inter alia, that they have only 2 bowling machines in entire BD, an essential tool when BD lacks pace bowlers. Team selection also verges on the bizarre and ridiculous! Andy Zaltzman in a cutting piece highlighted the fact that Ashraful averages 12.7 runs in "away" matches over the last 10 years or so. True to form he has averaged 12.5 in this series! And yet the BD selectors claim he is a core member of the batting line up, occupying the prized 4 or 5 position. An implicit admission that there are no better batsmen available in BD to choose from is a damning indictment. The ICC must have a serious headache here, having to balance Asian cricket politics and the duty to maintain the quality and integrity of Test Cricket.

Posted by sanin on (June 7, 2010, 5:12 GMT)

I really feel so embarrassed now, its my country my soul will always support them, but the way they played is bizarre display of negotiating short balls in quicker pitches. I don't know how much concerned BCB is now to build Overseas quality(not flat like Dhaka,Chittagong) pitches. Maybe ICC should give BCB a warning that either to build quality pitches back home or else, pay the price by giving away your TEST status.

Posted by McGorium on (June 7, 2010, 0:01 GMT)

@Bang_La: I think Ban has done enough to retain test status for at least 1-2 yrs. If things go down the drain a la Zim, they will lose it, but otherwise, I find it unlikely. @rocket123: Sorry, but overcast conditions doesn't automatically mean a collapse for any team. You'll find many a fine double hundred scored in such conditions. Siddons' analysis was correct: Ban batsmen can bat on flat tracks but not on tracks that do something. Ban doesn't have the classical batsman in the mould of Sangakkara, Mahela, Dravid etc who know how to negotiate such conditions. Ban seems to bat in ODI mode, which is OK in batting conditions, but gets exposed when the bowler gets help. Collapses, such as what we saw, can occur when there's overcast conditions and a grassy pitch, but that was not the case. Even then, 120 odd is on the low side of the scale. Its lucky that most test wickets have become batting friendly, else they'd be much worse off. Imagine a cold and wet Headingley! Or even Brisbane!

Posted by McGorium on (June 6, 2010, 23:51 GMT)

@shahrias: It's a vicious circle. Ban will be invited more often if ECB can make money off TV rights and ground attendances (same reason why BCCI no longer plays Ban as often as in the earlier days). For that to happen, Ban has to prove itself to be competitive. I think the best bet is to get competitive at ODI. And by that I mean graduating from a team that can surprise, to a team that can win at least 25% of its games. Sure, ban has had the odd win against Aus, Ind,Pak etc. but it typically comes when the opposition takes them lightly. I think that's the best way, because then the players will also get confidence (SRL had the same trajectory). As things stand, Ban bowling is poor at the test level, and batting is mediocre. I think Ban needs to play A sides more often to gain experience. I don't know if it's a prestige issue with the BCB, that Ban might lose to an A side. But I can't see how they'll progress if they get beaten by an innings every other game.

Posted by hazeltine on (June 6, 2010, 23:24 GMT)

After this latest series defeat for the Bangladesh test side, you would have thought Jamie Siddons and more importantly, the Bangladesh cricket administration would have worked it out, but they STILL DO NOT GET IT! They simply have to produce QUICKER WICKETS in their domestic cricket. By doing this they would bring through genuine pace bowlers, encourage their spinners to attack more instead of always having to bowl to defensive fields because their pace attack is being clubbed around the park, and lastly, it would teach their batsmen to play short pitched deliveries as they look totally apprehensive against it because they have not got the technique to deal with it.

Posted by hollandindian on (June 6, 2010, 22:02 GMT)

Is bangladesh not allowed to play until 2020 against england? Or whats the reason? Can somebody please explain?

Posted by Bang_La on (June 6, 2010, 19:45 GMT)

Bangladesh Cricket Board and its implanted offcials failed and did not care to establish the fact to world cricket that though its 10 long years for Bangladesh but after long experiments, a team made of young world class talents has been found. They are in the make and needs exposures for experience. The hounds who failed to bring Ireland in test table are now working hard to eliminate Bangladesh or others who don't look like them, simple.

Posted by shahrias on (June 6, 2010, 19:44 GMT)

Bangladesh don't return to England till 2020. So, by then, it is an entirely new team coming to face conditions where sides who travel every other year tend to have issues. There in lies the problem. We have a group of players playing international cricket 2 months a year. There are a few who are rising above this lack of practice through sheer talent but the rest of them simply get stuck in mediocrity.As we have recently seen from IPL and the Indian World T20 calamity, domestic experience does not prepare you for the sheer intensity of international games. Until some proper exposure to this intensity is offered, expecting anything other than mediocre performances with flashes of talent, as we have been seeing over the last year is simply not fair.

Posted by rocket123 on (June 6, 2010, 19:38 GMT)

It sad to witness in the manner the Bangladeshi team folded under overcast skies. This could have happened to any team. At the same time, the middle order was an abject failure in both tests. Why does Ashraful keep getting chances? He needs to be for sure out of the team for a while so that he can play some Ist class cricket and get himself ready for the mental toughness that is required of him. 55 Tests with a below par avg of 22 does not justify his inclusion in the squad test after test. He needs a long break to prove his worth at the domestic level. Other players like Kapoli, Nafees, Aftab etc; should be given a long run in the squad. I am sure Mushfiq, Shakib and Mahmudullah will come out better players after this debacle. So not everyhting is lost but it would have been nice Bangladesh not bundling up within a session against swing bowling. They are so close yet too far but they will get there if they play more frequently the longer format in Aus, SA and Eng.

Posted by McGorium on (June 6, 2010, 19:35 GMT)

Isn't it weird that Siddons criticized Sehwag saying he shouldn't be allowed near a mike, when Sehwag said that B'desh were an ordinary side because they couldn't take 20 wickets to win a test? Because, he seems to be saying the same thing above: " But we haven't got enough matchwinners to win the games yet. Our fast bowlers aren't good enough to run through sides, but... ". I guess he knows best.

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Andrew McGlashanClose
Andrew McGlashan Assistant Editor Andrew arrived at ESPNcricinfo via Manchester and Cape Town, after finding the assistant editor at a weak moment as he watched England's batting collapse in the Newlands Test. Andrew began his cricket writing as a freelance covering Lancashire during 2004 when they were relegated in the County Championship. In fact, they were top of the table when he began reporting on them but things went dramatically downhill. He likes to let people know that he is a supporter of county cricket, a fact his colleagues will testify to and bemoan in equal quantities.
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