Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cook and KP take England to victory

In the end, it was a comfortable victory for England, but Bangladesh seem to be improving as they played reasonably well in the Kiwiland and showed some fight in this series as well. Bang. batsmen did play reasonably well in the second innings of the first test and in the second test at Dhaka, they gave England a run for their money.

At the start of the day, Bangladesh needed Sakib to do the bulk of the scoring with others supporting him, but leaving S.Islam none of them gave him good support. Naeem too seemed to be showing some patience, but the shot that Naeem played to get out was better suited for street cricket! In the end, Sakib lost his patience and finally got out. On a easy paced wicket 209 was never going to be a challenging target and as expected England won in a canter.

Poor Sakib, it was the fourth time he got to the 90's, but hasn't been able to convert any of them into a hundred. He scored 99 against Steyn, Morkel, Ntini and Kallis and has also scored 96 against Murali and Vaas. I have seen some saying that he is over hyped, but IMO he has done very well for a 22 year old. Today too he played a fine knock as he mixed caution with aggression.

As far as England were concerned, Cook again played a fine knock and deservedly got a hundred. He seems to have worked hard on his back-lift as it is coming out a lot more straighter. It was also good to see KP getting some runs. Yes, he couldn't do well in South Africa nor in the onedayers in Bangladesh, but that was mainly due to him coming back from a serious injury. I don't see much wrong in his technique and in the past he has shown ample times that he can succeed against the best. It was also good to see him opening his stance a bit to play more shots against the left arm spinners on the off side. The way he used the depth of the crease against the spinners was a treat to watch.

Bangladesh won't be happy about the number of decisions that went against them though, Trott may say he too was unlucky with that run out as with the available evidence there was no way he could have been given out. In simple words, the umpiring was been sub standard.

I do have to say that Bangladesh have a promising batting line up as Rahim, Mohamudullah, Sakib and Iqbal are all talented and hopefully they will mature with age. I really liked Mohamudullah's batting as he plays late and can be easy on the eye though, he has the habit of playing away from the body. The problem for Bangladesh is, the bowling attack looks weak. Bangladesh need to find a decent seamer and maybe another decent spinner to support Sakib. If they find some decent bowlers they would seriously challenge both the Black Caps and the Caribbean team at home.

For England, Bresnan was impressive as he consistently bowled at the good length spot with the odd full delivery to get the edge. He was the only England bowler who found some reverse swing with the old ball. Swann was as expected impressive but Broad was lacklustre. He continued to bang it into the pitch and didn't find much joy. Of course Broad keeps getting away with his antics and doesn't get punished by the match referee. Bell had a very good tour, but needs to continue the good work. Cook had a very good tour as well, but I'm not impressed by his captaincy. KP too looked in decent touch.

Finally, I think it is right to say that everyone have to show patience with Bangladesh as it isn't easy to play test cricket and to their credit they have been improving.

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