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World Cup 2011

Junaid told to get his head down

Sidharth Monga in Chittagong

March 9, 2011

Comments: 49 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni stumps Junaid Siddique for 37, Bangladesh v India, Group B, World Cup 2011, Mirpur, February 19, 2011
Junaid Siddique has made plenty of starts in one-day cricket but now needs to convert that into a major score © AFP
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Players/Officials: Junaid Siddique
Series/Tournaments: ICC Cricket World Cup
Teams: Bangladesh

The last time Junaid Siddique played England at home was more than a year ago, in February 2010. He scored a duck then. Since then, Junaid has played 19 ODIs, and has been dismissed in single figures only twice. Even those two instances have occurred only recently, after an unbroken run of double figures in 14 games. That's a record any No. 3 in the world would trade, but then again this coin has the other side too. Twelve of those promising starts have ended for scores less than 40, which is Junaid's average for the same period is 35.

Of late, though, Junaid seems to have shown a bit of confusion as to what his role in the side is. He has become more free flowing, but that seems to have cost him his wicket too often. And in a side that has shown it needs somebody to put a heavy price on his wicket, someone who puts his head down and faces the heat, Junaid's recent adventures haven't quite helped.

Two days ago, the coach Jamie Siddons identified Junaid as one of the men capable of playing long innings. "Imrul [Kayes] and Imrose [Junaid] are the two players that are expected to do that," Siddons said. "Imrose was playing a lot of shots, I have spoken to him about that. That's not his role in the team."

Junaid still believed that it was important to be positive, but acknowledged he needed to convert the starts more often. "I have been playing a few shots because I think playing positive cricket will count in the end," he said. "I have been playing well getting starts, but have not been able to carry on. I am scoring the first 30-40 runs very confidently, but getting out. My coach has also told me, and everyone is also helping me prepare. I don't want to get out in the next match, and that is what I have been trying at the nets."

His last sentence is important. Bangladesh nets sessions are usually a place where the batsmen don't spend a lot of time defending or fine-tuning defensive shots. Perhaps it is just because this is one-day cricket, perhaps the recent defeat makes it more conspicuous, but the Bangladesh nets sessions seem to feature much more merry hitting than other teams'. Over the last two or three days, though, Junaid and Mushfiqur Rahim have been more focused on playing the correct shots first before the adventurous one.

"Yes, we have not been able to put up big partnerships in any of the three matches so far, and that is the main reason why our batting could not perform," Junaid said. "We have to try that and ensure a big score from our top order. That is the target of our top order. We have always played shots at the nets, and now we are sincerely trying to stay there.

"On a personal level I have been trying for some time now to get a big score, play a long innings. I am going to try and do that against England. If I get a start, I will definitely try and play a big knock on Friday."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 49 
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Posted by Risad on (March 12, 2011, 6:09 GMT)

@faizalsehwag .... hey mate ..... think twice before saying anythin next time ...... u must hav witnessed wat happened last night ..... we can beat any team in the WORLD....... nd the records prove that ... so beware of us ...... nd worry about ur team ....

Posted by FAISAL on (March 11, 2011, 8:29 GMT)

bangalees dreaming toooooooo much..they need world cup 2011....ha ha ha

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 10, 2011, 22:06 GMT)

Here's hoping to a good match. Being in the grounds during the west indies match left me speechless. We (the fans) let our emotions and expectations take control but even if we don't make it to QF's, I hope the boys can put up decent performances and we need to stop bickering on the 'correct team'. Our wishful thinking won't alter the thickheaded selectors decisions...

Posted by abhinav on (March 10, 2011, 20:39 GMT)

No offense @SyedSultan - 35th Over to 4oth over - 60 runs with loss of 1 wicket. Wishful thinking. I guess you are not completely aware of BD batting capabilities. Most of the top teams will struggle to get that kind of rate.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 10, 2011, 20:15 GMT)

i still cant undstand wat the bangladeshis want more.. just by beating low in confindence nz team... they think they can win the world cup.. i cant undrstand their passion for cricket .. but its very far from beating a big team ..!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 10, 2011, 13:12 GMT)

Junaid is certainly capable of playing long innigs with a good strike rate. I think he should concentrate more on building a partnership with a regular rotation of strike. Im sure he has realised that and things will change.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 10, 2011, 12:53 GMT)

Dear Arif Ul Islam i agree with you only one problem i found Ashraful. He doesn't deserve to stay in the team right now. he needs to play street cricket not international, nafees will be the replacement.

Posted by Manesh on (March 10, 2011, 12:29 GMT)

BD is a hyped team. They thought playing in home ground will help them. Actually thats the only hope for them. I donot think they can beat Eng. especially when English already lost 2 points to Ireland.

Posted by Khair ul on (March 10, 2011, 12:24 GMT)

Bangladesh players must believe they can beat England. The fact that Ireland did it should give them hope as they are a better team than Ireland. England struggled against every team they played except against India. Bowling is the key; BD have to use their battery of spinners against them; not let players like Strauss settle against them. Let him play spin to start with. Ian Bell is their best player of spin so use pace against him. If Mashrafe could bowl even 5 overs that would be a bonus for BD as 5 good overs of quality pace and seam is better than 10 average overs.

Posted by Dar on (March 10, 2011, 12:03 GMT)

Jamie Siddon & Shakib,

Why are you not considering Nafees and Kapali. Give them a chance. Ashraful and Rakibul has not made any impact at all. Nafees defenatley desrves an opportunity.

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