Sunday 18 January 2009 

Siddons Puts Pressure On Top Four To Perform

Siddons Puts Pressure On Top Four To Perform
Siddons Puts Pressure On Top Four To Perform
© REUTERS/Andrew Biraj (BANGLADESH) Picture Supplied by Action Images
 

Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons has once against put his batsman under pressure to perform in the build-up to the three-match One Day International series against Zimbabwe which begins tomorrow (January 19th).

Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka and then narrowly lost in the tri-series final despite limited contributions from their top four batsman. Captain Mohammad Ashraful is to move up from number four to three for this series.

"We have to make sure that we put a score on the board or bat well when we are chasing," Siddons said. "I think the bowling is coming together although the power plays are tough. The power plays are tough for everybody unless you have a (Ajantha) Mendis in your team. We are not executing our skills well enough under pressure during the power play but we are working on it. In batting our top four need to start playing well and I'm looking forward to this series to see if they can do that.

Asked whether the opening batting was a worry, Siddons was brutally honest and frank in his assessment:

"Definitely. The two guys at the top Tamim (Iqbal) and Imroze (Zunaed Siddique) haven't made runs for a while now and haven't put up a big score. I can see how well they are practising and they are the two best guys in the job no one has really put a hand up to take their spot. They are two talented youngsters who are going to do well in the future. We just got to persevere with them and if Ash (Ashraful) starts to step up then the top four would look a lot better."

Ashraful made the point that regardless of where he bats in the order, he is often at the crease at an early stage of the innings.

"Well even from four I had to go into the middle quickly in the last few games and therefore we thought if I am there early and can play a long innings then it will be beneficial for the team," he explained. "I have batted at number three in most matches since becoming captain but my record is also not bad at four. The reason I had opted to bat at four was because I thought it was better for me if the ball was a bit older. But for the team combination I will bat at three and I hope to make use of that opportunity."

And he wants each of his to batsman to register a telling score in the series.

"Here I would like to see a hundred in each match from one of the top order batsmen and hopefully I will make runs too if I get going," Ashraful said.

© Cricket World 2009

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