Bangladesh’s Day & English Shortcomings

29 05 2010

Bangladesh Fight Back (A bit)

The Daily Telegraph headline says it all. ‘Trott Ton gives England the Edge’.

The fact that it doesn’t say something along the lines of ‘Bangladesh Trying To Avoid 3 Day Defeat’ is a bonus for test cricket and English cricket fans. After the spectacle and high emotion of the 20/20 world cup, the opening day of this test was very flat indeed. What we have been craving is for Bangladesh to fight and at least make the game competitive. Yesterday, however, this all changed and whilst it would be going to far to say that Bangladesh are back in the match, they are at least showing some fight.

Over the course of the day six England wickets fell for 143 runs and then Bangladesh began their reply strongly, finishing on 172-2. Plaudits must go to Shadahat Hossain, Tamim Iqbal and Junaid Siddique who were the leaders of this mini renaissance, Hossain becoming the first Bangladeshi cricketer to get his name on the honours board with excellent figures of 5-98 from 28 overs, and Iqbal scoring an entertaining 55 before Siddique ensured there was not a typical collapse with an edgy, but calm, 53 not out. (That’s edgy as in many runs coming off the edge…)

Therefore England have the ‘edge’ as the Telegraph rightly said, treating Bangladesh as if they were any other test team and who, if they were 172-2, would be likely to go on and at the very least save the follow on. This target is only a further 133 runs away and, considering that the middle order is really the Bangladeshis strongest component, it should be attainable.

The Compulsive Hooker has so far been downright pessimistic with regards to the Bangladeshi’s chances of being competitive in this series, yesterday predicting that they would be 130-7 at the close of play, and whilst we hope they continue this richer vein of form today, we are still going to predict a collapse short of the follow on. We have every faith that the cricketing gods would cause a major collapse if we stated an opinion that they will comfortably avoid the follow on and not wishing to bring this on, we will continue in our negative frame of mind.

We would like to see Shakib Al Hasan score some runs today as so far he has come in for much criticism from the media, commentators and indeed this humble column. He may be a poor captain and a similar to Paul Harris in his ability to bowl non turning spinners, but he is still only 23 and should therefore be given a little bit of slack. He is a player of undoubted talent and today is the time to prove himself.

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Bresnan Fails To Deliver

There has been a general and really quite astonishing change in peoples opinions of Tim Bresnan in the past year and we must admit that we are not alone in this. We have always thought that Bresnan is a bowler a touch short of the class required as an England opening bowler, more Peter Martin than Matthew Hoggard. Despite this, in the past 6 months and with his performances in limited overs cricket in particular, he has demonstrated himself to be clever bowler willing to learn and one that was perhaps underrated.

Yesterday’s figures of 15 overs for 65 runs and no wickets applied the proverbial cold shower to these sentiments. The Bangladeshi batsman took a distinct likening to his rather slow, non swinging offerings, dispatching his first two spells at a rate of over 6 an over. This series was an opportunity for Bresnan to take a bucketful of wickets and continue his ascendancy in the English pecking order but sadly what he is demonstrating is what we all feared from the begining. A work horse but not a great deal more unless it is limited overs. He may still take 6 wickets today, but we shudder to think what his figures might have been had we been playing the Australians for example.

In the second innings we would like to see Steve Finn given the new ball as he is surely someone for the future.

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Trott Meanders

It is difficult to criticise a batsman who by scoring 226 equaled the English top score since Graham Gooch’s 333 at Lords in 1990. We are however going to try…

England meandered through the morning and afternoon session, only looking like they wanted to move on with the game when Graeme Swann came to the wicket. This criticism of Trott is not a new one, often he seems to retreat into his shell and play his own game, but it is something he is going to have to work on if he is going to become a truly valuable member of this side. Truth be told this is perhaps a little harsh as Kallis, for one, is another who has always had this criticism leveled at him and look how valuable he has been to his national side.

Yet we cannot get the feeling out of our heads that Trott could be someone who looks good against poor bowling but then loses his head when faced with real pressure, i.e. South Africa in January of this year.

Either way he is here to stay for the foreseeable future so perhaps we at the Compulsive Hooker simply needs to set aside how irritated he makes us and thank him for scoring 226 invaluable runs!

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Zimbabwe Win!

Great win for the Zimbabweans over India yesterday. We didn’t see any of the game and so can’t comment particularly, but it is fantastic to see them improving almost match by match in the recent past.

If Bangladesh are a test playing nation, is there not an argument for Zimbabwe too?! Or Ireland for that matter?! Two tiers perhaps with the West Indies also slotting into that group? 

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2 responses

30 05 2010
Sameer

I saw the Zimbabwe Vs. India, match. I had a slight feeling that this was due. Zimbabwe were a regular test team, actually. Played 83 in total, with 8 wins.

They slumped with the departure of players like Andy Flower, Grant Flower, Murray Goodwin, Stuart Carlisle, Heath Streak, etc. Decent enough players to compete at the highest level.

And regarding Bangladesh, Virender Sehwag had said that they should not be granted test status. I think so too. I don’t want to watch a team that’ll take a draw as a result in the beginning of the first test match of a series.

If at all they have to play, make them play against Zimbabwe or Ireland. (Whatever happened to Kenya, after reaching WC semi-finals.)

1 06 2010
Bradders

I think that you have a good point there and I have started a piece about perhaps a 2 tier situation. Will put it up soon.

Hoping Zimbabwe manage to beat the Lankans today….

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