England v Bangladesh, 2nd Test, 3rd day, Chester-le-Street June 5, 2005

'It's difficult to judge how much we've got out of the Tests'


Michael Vaughan: 'We have had stages when we had to knuckle down but it has been easier than I expected' © Getty Images
Michael Vaughan refused to get carried away after seeing his side wrap up a crushing 2-0 Test series victory against Bangladesh at the Riverside here Saturday. England needed just 17 minutes and 26 balls to complete victory by an innings and 27 runs, which followed their even more convincing innings and 261 run win in the first Test at Lord's.

Both matches barely lasted into the third day as England outclassed Bangladesh, who were playing their first Tests on English soil. England did all that could be reasonably expected of them but as a guide to how they might fare against Australia, the world's best team, when the Ashes series starts at Lord's on July 21, the two Tests were all but meaningless.

"It's difficult to judge how much we've got out of these games because we've won so easily," Vaughan told reporters after England had won five successive Test series for the first time since 1971. "We've not had those real tough-in sessions and fight-through sessions where we've lost a batch of wickets. We have had stages when we had to knuckle down but it has been easier than I expected. To win two Test matches in almost two days each is obviously quite an easy series victory."

No England batsman below Ian Bell, the No 4, had an innings against Bangladesh. And with the likes of middle-order men Andrew Flintoff and wicket-keeper Geraint Jones included in the one-day squad for the series with Australia and Bangladesh, concerns have been expressed about England players not having enough first-class practice ahead of the Ashes. "It's slightly disappointing Freddie and Geraint didn't get a knock," said Vaughan, "but over the next four weeks we'll make sure they get plenty of practice leading in to the Ashes series."

When England in Bangladesh in 2003-04 they won both Tests, but the matches were far more competitive than in this series. Indeed such was England's dominance that Vaughan was slightly frustrated by his side's inability to win the match in two days. Some belated resistance by the tourists' batsmen - Javed Omar (71), captain Habibul Bashar (63) and Aftab Ahmed (82 not out ) all making significant scores - took Bangladesh to their highest score against England of 316. "We set ourselves the goal yesterday (Saturday) of winning in two days - and if you set yourself goals you like to achieve them," Vaughan said. "I think we went searching for wickets rather than sticking to our disciplines and building pressure that way."

Vaughan did have some consoling words for the opposition batsmen, whose resolve restored some pride albeit a result that left Bangladesh with a record of just one win in 38 Tests was never in the remotest doubt. "They showed a bit of resolve and came out playing shots," he said. "They were a lot harder to beat on their home soil but they showed some flamboyancy and came after our bowlers here yesterday. There is a little bit of talent there."

Bashar, meanwhile, insisted Bangladesh, who face England in the one-day series opener at The Oval on June 16, had not done themselves justice. "The conditions are so different here to what we are used to - but I am not going to use that as an excuse," he added. "We just did not play well and we are much better than this. It is disappointing but it happens like that sometimes."