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Bangla eye consistency against top guns

Bangladesh will find it hard to get past Shoaib Malik's men on Sunday but they will be satisfied if they shown an improvement from the previous series, reports G Krishnan.

cricket Updated: Jun 07, 2008 23:19 IST
G Krishnan

Jamie Siddons is yet to complete a year as Bangladesh coach but he has spent enough time with the minnows to know of their mindset --- to walk with their heads held high.

"Our top six batsmen average 20 and the opponents (India and Pakistan) average 40. So that leaves us with 120 runs from our top six and 240 from their top six. So, who has won, definitely not us," said the 44-year-old Australian on the eve of the Kitply Cup tri-series opener between Pakistan and the hosts at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

"As any coach would put it, it is all about the process," said Siddons about his team, who are still struggling to find their feet in international cricket.

"I don't want to talk about winning but about improvement. If we can bat each ball well, bowl well and collect catches, we are sure to win. We are getting better every day. But what I am looking for is consistency."

The Mirpur stadium will be hosting an international tournament for the first time under lights and towards this endeavour, six towers were moved here a week ago as a temporary arrangement. The Bangladesh Cricket Board has plans for a permanent floodlit facility at the venue.

Bangladesh will find it hard to get past Shoaib Malik's men on Sunday but they will be satisfied if they shown an improvement from the previous series that they lost 5-0 in Pakistan in April.

Pakistan coach Geoff Lawson had said a couple of days ago that the tournament was to be treated as a preparation for the Asia Cup later this month. Though hastily arranged and not part of the Future Tours Programme, Bangladesh are not treating the event lightly.

"I think the Asia Cup is another tournament, but this tri-series is the event we are focusing on. It's really important for us to show that we are learning and improving. We have stuck to the same team and we hope they will improve," said Siddons.

To perform well, Bangladesh will need captain Mohammad Ashraful to fire consistently. By his own admission, the skipper said, "I need to perform as a batsman (he managed only 81 in the last five innings) and I am hopeful that I will bat well and support my team.

"If we play well, we can win against any country. Our players are young and everyone is learning," said the 23-year-old.