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Old December 14, 2011, 11:36 AM
zsayeed zsayeed is offline
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Join Date: April 19, 2007
Posts: 4,918
Default off topic? I miss siddons: Jamie Siddons knows how to keep things positive

Pardon the off-topic post. I thought this was interesting and relevant. Siddons is the same, his problem the old one - change any of the names of the players to Bangladesh and you get the same nostalgic feeling.
- Zulfiquar

Having coached Bangladesh, Jamie Siddons knows the value of a glass-half-full approach.

So while it was back to the nets and the gym for Wellington yesterday after their record innings and 230-run defeat to Northern Districts in Christchurch, the famous Alex Ferguson hairdryer treatment was put on hold.

"I'm usually pretty measured. That probably comes from Bangladesh – working with a lot of young blokes. I like to talk sense and work on the positives," he said as the Firebirds eye a third-round Plunket Shield match against Auckland starting on Sunday.

Short-term memory loss will probably be the biggest positive. Wellington's previous four worst defeats were all suffered more than 50 years ago.

Having snaffled a solitary competition point from their three days' work, Wellington slipped to last on the ladder behind Canterbury, the only other winless team.

The second innings collapse for 216 was painful viewing for Siddons, the one-time Australian one-day international, whose technical expertise on batting was his big selling point on arrival.

On a pitch where Kane Williamson scored 284 not out, Wellington's best knock was Stephen Murdoch's 57.

Next up are the likes of Kyle Mills, Michael Bates, Bruce Martin and Bhupinder Singh back at Lincoln. Wellington's players remained at their Lincoln barracks to train rather than steal a couple of days back home.

"It's not easy [to turn it around]," Siddons said. "We've got two net sessions to work on it. They're not bad players; we made 500 and plenty for five last game and we had the opposition [Central Districts] in a similar situation.

"It happens in cricket. We got put on the back foot after day one and we didn't get back in front. We struggled with the pressure of being so far behind in the game."

Siddons blamed some technical batting deficiencies and admitted a lack of preseason hadn't helped. Poor weather meant just one full day on grass in Masterton before round one.

"I'm learning about them every day. This is about the eighth day of outdoor cricket I've had with these guys. That's probably another thing that's not helping us: we've had no cricket outside and come up against some quality bowling."

It was admittedly a test-strength ND attack but Siddons won't take long to lose patience with his troops. He pointed out there were eight current or former internationals in the Wellington side and just two, Australia tourist Jesse Ryder and the injured Mark Gillespie, will be absent on Sunday.

But they could gain another former test player, Iain O'Brien, who was pushing hard for his first first-class game since July last year.

Siddons said teenage quick Scott Kuggeleijn would replace Gillespie [hamstring, 4-8 weeks] but O'Brien could come in as a fourth seamer to strengthen the attack alongside Andy McKay and James Franklin.

"I spent 45 minutes watching him [O'Brien] bowl and put him through a fielding test, and he hasn't complained about his hamstring once, which is a massive turnaround. He's fired up to play and he's asking if he's in the lineup. A good option to have, that's for sure."

At Rangiora, Canterbury and Auckland played out the only draw of round two yesterday. Set 354 to win, Auckland ended 196-4 with Gareth Hopkins topscoring with 63 not out.

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