Bangladeshi Battles & Why England Aren’t Australia

26 01 2010

Bangladesh are an annoying team. They clearly have some talented players but despite 10 years of test cricket have really failed to come to grips with the concept of batting time.

Before I go any further, I should give an overview of the match situation so those amongst you who aren’t concerned about the latest India Bangladesh game (I suspect there are a few of you!) understand what I’m talking about…. Bangladesh scored 233 all out in their first innings, to which India replied with 544-8, and Bangladesh are now 228-3 in their reply. Still trailing by 89 runs.

Much better you may say in the second innings from Bangladesh and indeed it is. The think that gets us is that similarly to the first test they seem to regard test cricket as an extended 20/20 game. In the second innings it has come off, but in the first when it matters they managed to score about 300 below par on what is a typically flat sub continental wicket.

A case in point is their Mohamed Ashraful, ex captain, and widely acknowledged as the sides most talented player. Yet he averages 22 in test cricket over 50 games with 5 hundreds. Talent undoubtedly, but clearly no cricketing brain as his first innings of 39 in 31 balls, before getting out to leave Bangladesh in trouble at 51-5, demonstrated. Iqbal in the 2nd innings was out 9 balls before the end of the day for a magnificent 151. Sadly though this is his second hundred in 14 tests at an average of 28 prior to this innings.

Tomorrow is only day 4 and I expect Bangladesh to bat aggressively and be all out in the mid afternoon session, something like 75 runs in the lead.  Come on Bangladesh, get your heads down and the runs will come – slower than you want them but they will.

Down under Australia are mopping up the last of the Pakistani tail to ensure a win by 30 odd runs in the match and 3-0 in the series. This Australia side is probably at a similar level talent wise to the English team but where they differ, and this is massive, is in the psyche. English teams often have a problem being ruthless and a side as ill led and undisciplined as Pakistan would probably still win at least one game in a series against them. (We will see this Summer coming as England are hosting Pakistan in 4 test matches). Much has been written over the years about these differences in attitudes and many different reasons tendered yet, for your average English cricket fan, why this happens is not important. It is simply accepted that it does happen as a result of more sun, rubbish lager, baggy green caps, Steve Waugh etc and deep down this scares a Pom. Sir Leonard Hutton was probably correct when he said that any English side touring Australia had to be ‘25% better’ to win the Ashes.

With series against Bangladesh (away then home) and Pakistan coming up before the Ashes tour in 2010/11 it is imperative that England act as ruthlessness as Australia are naturally.  This way England can lull their eternally optimistic supporters into a false sense of security before crashing to earth somewhere between the 1st and 4th tests.

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2 responses

29 01 2010
Dingo

just a note, after a quick jaunt down under, It appears Australia is now in the grip of a “botique ale revolution” After years of wholeheartedly agreeing about rubbish lagers, there is now a plethora of cracking brews to be had in most watering holes, and with tooheys and the tassie boys upping there game with the range of lagers, the humble aussie beer pallet is now looking excitedly toward the future! With this, i must say that 90% of English boozers now come with the choice of Fosters, Carling or for the more adventurous you have the Stella. Must say though, we havent caught on to the gastro pub phenom yet, and aussie pub food is rancid.

29 01 2010
Bradders

Very good point about he English pubs. Unfortunately its the same everywhere…. Having spent a fair bit of time down under myself I wholeheartedly agree re the food.

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