ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Bangladesh v Pakistan, World Cup 2011, warm-up

Siddons disappointed, but upbeat after defeat

Sidharth Monga in Mirpur

February 16, 2011

Comments: 19 | Text size: A | A

The Pakistan team celebrates the fall of Mahmuddulah's wicket, Bangladesh v Pakistan, World Cup warm-up match, Mirpur, February 15, 2011
Things fell into place well for Pakistan, barring Younis Khan's poor form © Associated Press

In their first warm-up before the home World Cup, Bangladesh showed a mix of nerves, rust and over-excitement to lose to Pakistan by 89 runs. Four simple catches went down, two big batting guns didn't quite deliver, and the batsmen looking in good touch played reckless shots to get out. Coach Jamie Siddons, always a forthright talker, didn't look to hide what went wrong, but said he wasn't too concerned with what happened in the warm-up game. The team was ready for February 19, he said, when the whole world will be watching them.

"The other catches were quite disappointing," Siddons said. "[But] I am glad it was a practice game that we dropped catches in, and not on the 19th. Our batting was a little bit rusty. Probably been three months since we have played against good-quality bowling. We weren't quite up to it. Especially in the middle overs, we couldn't quite get off strike. Hopefully we have got the bad one out of our way. The boys are still upbeat, I am still upbeat. I am not too worried about this match."

Big chases against good sides have always been a problem with Bangladesh, and that is what Siddons focused on. Once they lose Tamim Iqbal early, which they did in this game, there is almost always a feeling of inevitability when Bangladesh are chasing scores in excess of 250 against good sides. That, Siddons says, has to change.

"I think chasing 285 is a big target, but it is achievable," Siddons said. "I don't think we were sensible enough. The captain led from the front, and played a silly shot [a pull straight to long leg], and it went through the whole team. With five and six required an over, they got under pressure a little bit. We have talked a little bit about it already, we are going to talk more about it before the India game. Against good teams, we are going to have to chase 280 a lot. The chase is gettable, and I think we will do a lot better the next time."

There were positive signs too. Shafiul Islam, before going off with a foot injury, started well, bowling five overs for 19 runs. The pitch assisted the spinners, and Shakib Al Hasan was quick to utilise it both as a bowler and as a captain. "Shafiul was the pick of the bowlers," Siddons said. "He bowled beautifully. Swung the ball a lot, bowled fantastic lines, had the openers in trouble, got a wicket. Shakib has got his rhythm back, and confidence back, which he hadn't had for two series. And the pitch spun, which is a positive for us for the tournament. Imrul Kayes [39] was a positive. Raqibul Hasan [30] positive towards the end."

It was a better warm-up experience for Pakistan, with their in-form batsmen, Ahmed Shehzad and Misbah-ul-Haq, struck centuries to take their side to a big total. The concerns, if you were to look hard, were that Younis Khan was yet to get into his groove, and Shoaib Akhtar didn't bowl at all.

"Often only one or two players score big in one big innings, that's what Misbah and Shehzad did," Waqar Younis, Pakistan's coach, said. "Younis Khan missed out, we would love to have him get some runs going into the World Cup. I am not too worried about it, but if he gets runs in the next game, things will start rolling for us."

Shoaib could be a bigger concern, in whose absence Abdul Razzaq opened the bowling. "Shoaib is not in touch at the moment," Waqar said. "If he gets it right in the next game, he is obviously the No. 1 choice. At the moment, we have a slight problem with the new ball, but there is still some time to go.

"We played Shoaib in New Zealand. He improved in patches. It is important he gets into full throttle before we get him into the side. We are trying to work with him. Aaqib Javed and myself, we are working with him, trying to get his rhythm right before the tournament starts."

Waqar was pleased with Shehzad, who survived a good opening spell, and then accelerated to get a century. "Pretty impressed," he said. "He has been playing really well, from the back end of the New Zealand tour. He scored a hundred in his last game as well. He is in superb touch. For a youngster to come in to such a big scene and playing such a good knock with such responsibility, it is amazing to see that. Hopefully he is going to carry on delivering."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 19 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (February 19, 2011, 19:22 GMT)

@Aabb - Years to come you can speak about only 2007 win. Cause BD can't win anymore matches against ind. Atleast let them enjoy the one and only win 2007.

Posted by Dummy4 on (February 17, 2011, 23:48 GMT)

Being a Bangladesh supporter, I must say that India got everything to loose on 19th. So, I think India should come very well prepared to do the expected. As for Bangladesh, all they have to do is give a good fight and they just might win! I will agree that India being a fav to win the cup this time, would be totally broken if they lost their very first game and that too to Bangladesh!

But I am looking for a nail biting match on 19th to start off the WC with a bang, regardless of who wins....

Good luck Bangladesh and Good luck India.

Posted by HARSH on (February 17, 2011, 17:23 GMT)

@Sharprider, I am Indian fan and the only genuine worldclass player left in Indian team is Sachin. You can call him stalwart but calling Zahir, sree, bhajji, and Chawla stalwarts is a joke.

Posted by HARSH on (February 17, 2011, 17:18 GMT)

Indian fans while I do agree that Bangladeshi and Srilankan fans have been very disrespectful and even hateful to some extent on cricinfo, lets all take it with a pinch of salt. our team is a little bit hyped. While it is so wrong the way Bangladeshi and SL fans put down India , we also should stop believing in media hype and know that our team is all hype and very little substance.

Posted by Saif on (February 17, 2011, 3:44 GMT)

I agree. Bangladesh should not play Ashraful.

Posted by Calvin on (February 16, 2011, 23:56 GMT)

The illusion will be broken when the Indian behemoth crushes the opposition on the 19th. supporting one's team is not wrong. Being over confident and showing disrespect to the top team India is another.

Posted by Suj on (February 16, 2011, 23:43 GMT)

@ Sathish Kumar - Spot on about that! Every team is wary of Bangladesh not due to the latter being great match winners but because losing to them would be a great embarrassment for years to come. For example India's loss in 2007. Never lost to them since but these Bangladesh fans still keep talking about it! I think Pakistan put them in their place with a comfortable win.

Posted by Iqbal on (February 16, 2011, 22:56 GMT)

Ever since Bangladesh beat New Zealand late last year, they have thought that they could match up to any team in the world. Not so with India or Pakistan, for that matter. It is a totally different ballgame with these two teams. Incidentally, they don't play against Pakistan in the preliminary round but they have to go head to head with India in the Cup opener on the 19th. They would be well advised to bear in mind that they will be up against the likes of Tendulkar, Raina, Sehwag, Kohli, Yuvraj and Dhoni and face up to the speed and swing of Zaheer and Shreesant as well as the guiles of Harbhajan and Chawla. To get past these stalwarts will surely require monumental effort from both their batsmen and bowlers, with due support from the fieldsmen. So, the coach would need to go to the drawing board and plan something really worthwhile for the event opener.

Posted by titus on (February 16, 2011, 16:41 GMT)


Posted by Dummy4 on (February 16, 2011, 16:39 GMT)

@ Gulam..You are playing International cricket for almost 15 years now and still depending on UPSET rather than winning convincingly. It can happen once. Let me tell you that India can afford to loose the world cup but will not loose to bangladesh.Again will post u the comments here after india's ruthless win on 19th .....

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