Posted by: tootingtrumpet | June 7, 2010

England vs Bangladesh Second Test – England Report Card

Tamim Iqbal and Steven Finn - two crocks of cricketing goldAndrew Strauss – Got in and got out, which is never good for an opener. More worrying will be the manner of his dismissal – chasing a wideish one and edging to second slip. That won’t have gone unnoticed by Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus. Armchair ride as captain, possibly getting a bit of luck when Imrul Kayes fell for the leg trap to break Bangladesh’s only partnership of more than 37 runs.

Alastair Cook – Still wrestling a bit with his new technique and had feet set in concrete for his dismissal to the first ball he faced from Abdur Razzak. Like Colly, he can look a bit out of sorts even when in form, so out of form, he can look awful. Needs a few runs against Pakistan to go Down Under feeling totally at ease with his game.

Jonathan Trott – Inevitably missed a straight one after the run gorging at Lord’s. Will be pleased that his scores came big first then small.

KP – Got in and was just about to dominate when losing a bit of concentration on the charge to be stumped like a village green blacksmith. Such profligacy doesn’t matter now, but it might later in the summer and it will in the winter.

Ian Bell – The comfortable nature of the win belies the fact that Belly Boy arrived at the crease with England 83-3 and in danger of an embarrassing collapse. Played himself into form with a ton before getting an outrageous turner from Shakib that would have bowled any batsmen in the history of the game.

Eoin Morgan – Got going and will feel a little unlucky to middle a wide one so well and be caught at gully. Nobody would have batted an eyelid if Cook had done so, but Morgan had got out attacking with the scoreboard healthy for an ODI, but not for a Test. The New Fairbrother / New Thorpe descriptors remain both open to the little Irishman, but that destiny may go on hold when Colly returns.

Matt Prior – His primary role is to build partnerships from Number Seven with the last remaining specialist batsman and with whoever gets lucky from the tail. Since he was at the crease as the score advanced from 223-5 to 413, he delivered that brief well, though he would have liked a century and would have got one had he played in an orthodox attacking style at the end of his innings. His keeping, as always when he makes a score, was untidy and he seemed to be bothered by an injury that he won’t want to rule him out of availability for selection with Kieswetter and others breathing down his neck.

Graeme Swann – After a quiet match at Lord’s, he was itching to get after the bowling and biffed 20 unselfish runs from 17 balls as England punished the Bangla’s tiring bowlers. As a spinner at Old Trafford, much was expected of him with the ball and he was into his 11th over before he got the scalp that started the clatter of nine wickets for 53 runs, of which he took four to allow him to milk the crowd, walking off with ball raised in acknowledgement of his five-fer. Largely surplus to requirements in the second innings.

Ajmal Shahzad – Took a pounding from Tamim Iqbal in his first spell in Test cricket, but returned to bowl a wicket-taking line and length when the easy thing to do would have been to go back of a length and keep it tight. He was rewarded with three late wickets on Saturday and my Performance of the Day. Bowled with real pace (90mph+) in the second innings and got the ball to reverse in to the right-handers. Looks a worthy recruit to England’s growing squad of seamers and might be the quickest of them all.

Jimmy Anderson – Very much at home both literally and metaphorically under the glowering Lancashire sky that covered Old Trafford on Sunday. Had the ball swinging and jagging away from the left-handers with a useful in-ducker as a variation. His three wickets didn’t reflect a spell that destroyed any remnants of Bangladeshi confidence and showed us yet again that Good Jimmy is very good indeed.

Steve Finn – Must think Test cricket is an easy game after another five wicket haul. Of course, it isn’t, but Finn has found his feet very quickly (even if he insists on falling over after delivery more often than anyone should). Possesses a very nasty bouncer that steeples from only just short of a length and will dismiss better batsmen than Imrul Kayes. England’s Man of Series alongside Bangladesh’s fellow 21 year-old Tamim Iqbal – who says the youth only want Twenty20?

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

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Responses

  1. I don’t think your players are really using this series to prepare for the ashes? I mean the Deshis and Aussies are poles apart!

    • The Ashes are on everyone’s minds. That’s not disrespectful to the Deshis and the Pakistan lads, it’s just that one team just haven’t the depth and the other are even more chaotic than is normally the case.

      • TT, or alternatively, that it doesn’t really matter who Australia or England are playing, all contests are structured into the Ashes narrative. Personally, I’m a little tired of it and there are still 5 months until the Ashes begin. Then again, what can we expect? It isn’t as if the other contests have any greater purpose than meeting contractual obligations and the ups and downs of a deeply flawed rating system.

  2. Russ – this is an unusual summer. England have just beaten Aus in the World T20 and will go Down Under as holders of The Ashes with many believing that the camp is together and united under a captain and coach who are at the peaks of their powers. Had England been playing SA or India this summer, then those series would have been big in their own rights, but it’s very hard to get excited about the contests vs Bangladesh (who, though showing signs of improvement, aren’t competitive) and Pakistan (who have the talent, but are so compromised by off-field events and come off the back of a truly dismal tour of Aus).

    England isn’t all about the Ashes, but this summer, it’s hard to avoid looking forward to it.

  3. TT, except it isn’t just this English summer. Ashes speculation was rife throughout the South African tour as well. And as for Australia: last summer was against sub-standard opposition, so it was the only natural that thoughts would drift, as you say, but the summer before that, against India and South Africa was also before an Ashes tour, so there was a constant Ashes theme running through that as well.

    Google trends shows it well. Since the start of 2008, basically, the Ashes has been appearing in articles, rumbling away.


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