Vaughan delighted by England's performance
Michael Vaughan expressed his satisfaction at England's thumping innings-and-261-run win against Bangladesh, which was completed before lunch on the third day at Lord's. He said that England had achieved all their aims and avoided any slip-ups: "Before the game I mentioned the word banana skin when you come into a game like this, but after our first ten overs when we weren't quite at our best in the field I thought we were excellent throughout the whole of the match."
And Vaughan summed up: "It's nice to get it over with fast, and I thought we were ruthless in the field and very dominant with the bat. I thought the team did as much as could have been asked of them in two-and-a-quarter days."
Although Bangladesh were unimpressive here, Vaughan said he believed the Test had proved a worthwhile exercise, with a view to the bigger challenges ahead later in the summer. "We were on a ground where we are going to the playing a very important game in a few months' time [the first Test against Australia], and we have had bowlers bowling at their ends and batsmen spending time in the middle.
"Ian Bell, in his first game for England at Lord's, managed to spend a couple of hours at the crease, and that should show its rewards later on. So overall it was great performance and we will try and do exactly the same in Durham next week."
Vaughan insisted there will be no slackening off during the second Test at Chester-le-Street, with another rapid finish the preferred order of the day. "We will be making sure that we hit Bangladesh hard again, they are bound to have a few scars on the back end of a bad defeat like this, so we must make sure that we go up to Durham and give exactly the same performance."
But he refused to get drawn into the debate surround Bangladesh's suitability for Test cricket, despite this being their 21st innings defeat from 32 Test losses, in only 37 matches overall. "The players can only do what's been put in front of them," he said. "We've beaten Bangladesh as everyone expected us to do. We expected to win well and I think we've done exactly that. The players don't decide the schedule, we just turn up and play whoever is put in front of us."
Vaughan said that Andrew Flintoff's bowling was one of the major plus-points, after it had been expected that he would not be able to bowl until much later in the season. "It is a massive bonus that he is back bowling already. In March I certainly didn't expect him to be bowling in the one-day series, never mind the first Test of the summer. It shows how hard he has worked in his rehab, and how hard the medical team have worked to get him fit. What is most important now is that he stays fit for the whole of the summer.
Habibul Bashar, meanwhile, was predictably in a much more sombre mood, and admitted that his players were probably overawed by the occasion. "A little bit, yes. I think there was something going on in their heads, playing at Lord's."
Dav Whatmore, Bangladesh's Australian coach, did most of the taking at the press conference, and again emphaised the vast difference in the conditions. "This has been totally different to what we experience in Bangladesh, and against a good attack, but we will need to turn things around in only five days."
Whatmore said that it is the same problems which keep affecting the batting. "We had an opening stand of 31 [on Thursday] which was encouraging," he said, "but as soon as we were asked to decide what to play and what not to we made a few mistakes. It is always a matter of discipline, it is about reading and reacting, and to have the discipline to play within the conditions. But I have to say they [the conditions] were totally foreign to what the boys play on in the subcontinent."
Picking out positives from such a heavy defeat was not easy, but Whatmore nonetheless found a few crumbs of comfort to take up to Durham. "I thought Mashrafe Mortaza deserved more wickets than he got, and I also felt there were enough chances created. If you take the catch off Vaughan [Mohammad Rafique dropped a return catch], then he is out early."
And Whatmore concluded: "I felt the boys had a little bit of a disbelief of being able to get the ball past the bat and get the wicket, and that flows on to the umpiring, where any 50/50 decisions you might not get. There were chances created which was really good to see, even though we only had 108 on the board. It's bloody difficult when you go out to field with only 108."