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Old October 28, 2003, 07:35 AM
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fwullah fwullah is offline
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Default Simon Mann of BBC has got it spot on!

Although I would have loved to see Rafique taking 6 wickets for 30 odd runs in one innings and Habibul Bashar to score a double century in the test match starting tomorrow - just to prove the writer wrong, but I am disappointed to say that I cannot. We certainly don't have a single match-winner in our line up and we don't know who can be a match winner in the Bangladesh team until and unless the players win a match first hand.

Bangladesh lack match-winners

By Simon Mann
BBC Sport in Chittagong

The official view from the England party is that they are expecting another hard five days.

But having ruthlessly ended Bangladesh's resistance in Dhaka, they could be forgiven for thinking that they have paved the way for a more comfortable ride.

Bangladesh were so clinically flattened that it would take Steve Harmison's absence for them to regain some self-belief.

Bangladesh do not have a bowler who can take six cheap wickets or a batsman who can score 150

Harmison is the victim of back-to-back Test matches - there is insufficient time for pace-bowlers to overcome niggling injuries.

It would be a surprise if he did not play, however. Not part of the one-day squad, he has the incentive of 17 days rest in England at the end of the match.

The doubt over Harmison should be good news for Richard Johnson and spells a night of fretting for Ashley Giles and Gareth Batty.

England cannot risk going into a Test match with only one fully-fit pace-bowler bowler so Johnson must be in line for his second Test.

Dropping Giles would smack of short-termism
Logic demands three seamers in any case. The pitch is a mixture of bare patches and tufts of live grass, which should keep the quicker bowlers interested.

Add to that Bangladesh's demise against pace in Dhaka.

Giles' struggles have been well documented. Suffice to add that it would be a further blow to his already flagging confidence if he were dropped.

England will play two spinners in Sri Lanka come what may so it would be counter-productive in the long run to leave him out. The same goes for Batty.

England should be able to beat Bangladesh whatever combination they choose.

Therefore, batting Chris Read at six and substituting Johnson for Rikki Clarke makes the most sense, even if the England management has so far resisted the idea.

It is perverse that the one man who could solve England's problem will be arriving in Bangladesh on the morning of the match.

Andrew Flintoff will add some excitement to the one-day series here but England will be crossing everything that he stays fit for the greater challenge awaiting in Sri Lanka.

Rafique would beat England's spinners into a composite team
On the evidence of the first Test, Giles and Batty would struggle to get into a composite side from the two teams - and so might Read, Clarke and Mark Butcher.

The two left-armers, Mohamad Rafique and Enamul Haque Jr, all-rounder Mushfiqur Rahman, wicket-keeper Khaled Mahsud and batsman Habibul Bashar all impressed in Dhaka.

Bangladesh, though, do not have a bowler who can take six cheap wickets or a batsman who can score 150.

They can battle and resist but they do not possess a knockout punch.

Their plan will be to take the game the distance. It rained again on Tuesday and the MA Aziz Stadium has no usable floodlights to combat bad light.

No sun and no Harmison would give them their best chance

source: BBC
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Old October 28, 2003, 08:24 AM
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Hasib Hasib is offline
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Rafique took 5/35 against pakistan... thats close to 6 CHEAP wickets... isn't it?
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Old October 28, 2003, 08:58 AM
Optimist Optimist is offline
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Simon Mann is right considering he is talking about Bangladesh in light of the current series. But if he looks at the last ashes series he will know that it is also possible for a team without such strike bowlers to win a test match. England won the last ashes test (probably in Sydney) without a bowler who can take 6 cheap aussie wicket. For Bangladesh it has to be a team effort. I hope our captain can atleast add some runs to the team total even if he is incapable of taking test wickets. 60 runs in total should be his minimum contribution.

Hasib, Pakistan batting line up is much more unpredictable than the English one. They can even make a hero out of Giles.
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Old October 28, 2003, 12:18 PM
rafiq rafiq is offline
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Simon Mann is the most condascending of the front line sports writers out there (when it comes to bangladesh). I haven't read one line from him where he gives Bangladesh any credit, his rare praises come begrudingly. He has a typical superior attitude towards our cricket, and one can only be thankful he is not writing about the open garbage dumps outside the stadium.

Can we sic the Jai Jai Din comedy-sports writer on to Simon Mann?
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