Posted by: tootingtrumpet | June 1, 2010

England vs Bangladesh First Test – England Report Card

The very tall Steven FinnAndrew Strauss – Scratched around a bit in the first innings, but was more fluent leading what turned into an easy chase in the fourth innings. Out for 83 and 82, both times almost immediately after strong appeals were turned down – he’ll need better concentration against stronger sides.  His captaincy was curiously passive as Tamim Iqbal made merry and the Trumpet felt that his decision to enforce the follow-on was probably wrong. Easing his way back after sitting out the Bangladesh Tour and World Twenty20, he couldn’t have asked for easier bowling to get the feel of bat on ball.

Alastair Cook – Unveiled another technical adjustment, holding his bat up in his stance in the style of his mentor, Graham Gooch. Never really got going in either innings, playing poor shots to provoke marginal decisions that triggered him. For a man with a remarkable record at such an early age, can still look uncomfortable in Test cricket.

Jonathan Trott – After a poor winter and with the Media and fans scenting his South African blood, he needed a big innings and delivered one, chancelessly. 226 and 36* should keep his detractors at bay for a while and he even nipped in with a second innings wicket. Had he gone early in the first innings, Bangladesh may well have been setting England a target on the last day.

KP – Skittishly impatient in the first innings and left with little to do in the second, he probably can’t get himself up for a Bangladesh match. Having said that, his fielding was very sharp, throwing out the firecracker Tamim in the first innings.

Ian Bell – Averages just 30 in first class cricket this season and looked out of sorts in making 17. Must be hoping to gorge as he has in the past on the Bangladesh attack come Old Trafford.

Eoin Morgan – Catapulted into the Test XI after some cool-headed and inventive innings in Twenty20 cricket. He started out looking determined to play like Test batsmen play, but soon had the reverse sweep going and looked at ease. The close of first day came at a bad time for him and he was out early on the second. Might be the one to go for the returning Colly, but he’ll be back.

Matt Prior – Terrible match with bat and ball. He’s fortunate that England won and his performance will soon be forgotten. Will not want an injury now, as Kieswetter is building a case to take his place in all forms of the game.

Tim Bresnan – Bowled much better with the old ball than the new one, but was curiously inconsistent throughout. At times unplayable, but more often playable on either side of the wicket. Needs to re-discover the discipline to bowl dot balls if the conditions are against him, as he’ll never fire top-order bats out with pace or swing when the sun shines. Was just getting going with the bat when he got out.

Graeme Swann – Quiet match from England’s most ebullient player.

Jimmy Anderson – Looked short of bowling and fitness, but, as ever when the there’s cloud about, got some deliveries to really swing and seam – too much for most of the batsmen. At other times, seemed to labour to the crease and just put the ball there. His captain didn’t seem to want to go to him during Bangladesh’s big partnerships in the second innings. Good Jimmy or Bad Jimmy? Sometimes both in the same over.

Steve Finn – Will look at the Lord’s Honours Board and see his name there – and deservedly so. Apart from a nervous first spell and a stiff start to the fourth day, he bowled with aggression and intent to take nine wickets in the match and cement his place as one of England’s squad of half a dozen seamers.  Might need to spend some of his match fee on decent boots, as he fell over in his follow-through too often for it to be chance.

This summer, you can hear the Trumpet commentating ball-by-ball at Testmatchsofa.com and read his Performance of the Day column at Cricket on Five.

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Responses

  1. Brilliant article, Trumpet – especially because it does not patronise the ever improving Bangladeshi team. We should all be fearful of being the first victims – I’m ever so glad India just played a series there!

    • Thanks RK. The Bangla Boys can play sessions well, days well, but not yet matches, mainly because they miss Mortaza as a spearhead and the fielding is very weak. But Tamim, Imrul and Junaid batted very well in this match and we know that Mushfiqur, Shakib and Mahmadullah can bat much better than they showed at Lord’s. A bit of pace and a lot of discipline is needed in the bowling – mind you, I could say the same about England!

  2. Good stuff, and an entirely fair review. I like the cut of Finn’s jib and hope he pushes on over the next few years to become a mainstay. I’m a big fan of a tall quickie and I hope we get to see him at Old Trafford. From what I’ve heard and seen over the five days he seems to have a decent attitude as well, unlike the man he replaced.

    An 8-wicket loss is a harsh looking scoreline given that the Bangladeshis were very much in this game. As you say, Trott’s score in the first innings set up England’s good position, and the blistering start to the run chase seemed to drain them of any real belief. Had Bangladesh had a couple more wickets in hand yesterday morning then the draw would have been looking likely.

  3. Perc – you’re right of course. Cricket’s results seldom give a fair summary of the match and this was much closer than an eight wicket loss implies. Had the weather favoured England less, it might have been pretty tight as Bangla hardly “took” any wickets, they had them donated by poor shots.

    • True to a point. As Australia found out at the Oval last year, once you get behind the eight ball as Bangladesh did with their distracted middle order batting on a distracting day 3 (a nod to you there Billy the Umpire – 4 days of good umpiring stuffed up by half a day of confusion), you can be the better side from then on but it will not ultimately effect the outcome other than give the briefest of glimpses of possible parity.

  4. Sorry to be off topic but there’s not alot of riveting cricket going on at present.
    How’s the flood looking Pepp? Is it starting to transform things? How are your sheep, have they gotten over withdrawal symptoms from the hotel you put them up at?
    This was a big deal, but there’s little in the press, and I spoke to my old man in Perth about it recently and he said “aw yeah, they had a bit of rain over east”. Can’t be too critical, he’s getting on.


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