Bangladesh Looking For Top Order Improvement

Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful has urged his top-order batsmen to put in a vastly improved performance in the second Test against South Africa at Centurion Park.

Bangladesh were beaten by an innings and 129 runs as they were bowled out for 153 and 159 in the first Test in Bloemfontein.

"Obviously we performed poorly with the bat and it was a disappointing result. Our focus for the second Test will remain on trying to bat as many sessions as we can and not give wickets away after getting a start," said Ashraful, who made scores of one and 13.

"The top-order hasn't done the job yet and that's why we found ourselves 50 for 5 and 81 for 5 in the two innings at Bloemfontein. Hopefully we have leaned what to do and what not to do on these wickets and I expect us to bat better in this Test. We owe it to the bowlers who I thought did wonderfully well in the first match," he added.

Bangladesh failed to deal with a disciplined and hostile South African pace attack but Ashraful believes they can be tamed.

"They are world class and probably the best pace attack in the world. But on that wicket in Bloemfontein that had bounce and seam throughout our batsmen still had starts. We just couldn't sustain the resolve.

"We know that they are going to have four or five fast bowlers in this Test also and the pitch will have pace and bounce. But all batsmen will tell you that once you have spent some time at the crease it gets easier to play the quick bowlers."

"You have got to understand that we were coming off a series against New Zealand at home where the ball was coming at knee height and suddenly you are up against the best bowlers in the world on a fast seaming pitch. Still I though the batsmen did well in the second innings and were leaving the balls beautifully. It is a steep learning curve for them but I can see the talent and the boys do have ability," added coach Jamie Siddons.

Bangladesh have retained the same 12 that was picked for the first match with Roqibul Hasan a potential Test debutant while South Africa are expected to replace Paul Harris with fast bowler Monde Zondeki.

Bangladesh (12): Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes. Zunaed Siddique, Mohammad Ashraful (Captain), Mehrab Hossain Jr., Mushfiqur Rahim (Wicketkeeper), Shakib Al Hasan, Naeem Islam, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Shahadat Hossain, Mahbubul Alam, Roqibul Hassan

South Africa (probable): Graeme Smith (captain), Neil McKenzie, Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis, AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince, Mark Boucher (wicketkeeper), Morne Morkel, Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini, Monde Zondeki

© Cricket World 2008