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  #1  
Old June 13, 2008, 01:14 PM
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Default Six Months: Good, Bad and Ugly

This is about the Six Months under the tutelage of Jamie Siddons since taking over the helm of Bangladesh Cricket. Is six months sufficient enough to judge a coach minus the desired positive results? Probably not, but a few trends has unearthed itself, and that needs some inspection. I will break it down to three categories of the game upon which he has stamped his authority in a short period of time. I will call them the 'Good, Bad and Ugly'. I am mindful of the fact that we haven't won anything except that series victory over Ireland on our home turf. I urge readers and fans to ignore the Win- Loss column as you read this, though it may be a hard thing to ignore.

Good- Test Cricket.

Someone who has scored heavily in the tough Australian Domestic circuit , it is not surprising to see a noticeable improvement in the approach to test batting among our core batsmen. He has, in a short period of time, instilled the proper mindset, technique and application that is needed to flourish and build a test innings. For some, the change has come fast, notably Tamim-Zunaid opening pair, and for others it is still a work in progress though the intention of application is there. Given time, hopefully, that will translate into results. But, that depends on the players, not him.

For all the relative ODI success that has come with Dav Whatmore, and I don't want to minimize his achievements, he has mattered less in terms of teaching the younger generation of batsmen on how to play in the longer version of the game. He was a terrific one day coach. Siddons is quite the opposite. He is technically a very good batting coach. His test selection has been almost spot on given the resources that we have. He has quickly identified the players that are too limited in ability to play in the longer version and quickly dispatched them. Bashar did himself no favor and played himself out of the squad. Tamim, Zunaid, Ash, Aftab, Sakib, SN and soon to join Roqibul form the core of our batting line up. I believe that will remain as the core for a long period of time and rightly so. Rahim, Mortaza, Shahadat trio form the role of Wkt keeper and the two strike fast bowlers. The search for the third pacer will continue. Also, without the availability of Rafiq, the time is right for the likes of Razzaq and Enam to catch the baton.

I sincerely believe that this transitional educational phase will come good in the long term. Pity our low standard of First Class matches. If we want to avoid this classroom type scenario for the national team, it is incumbent upon our policy makers in BCB that they rectify this problem with players from the very beginning, when they start their career from school level. They must arrange and provide the best possible First Class infrastructure so the players are mentally and technically better prepared when they arrive in the test scene .Siddons should work with our bowlers more. If he is unable to do it, get somebody with good resume to work as a bowling coach to maximize their potential. Slip catching is also a big worry. Bowlers in tests get their wkts primarily behind the wkts. Let downs often get heavily punished in test cricket. He needs to identify and groom natural slip catchers. I also find our batting against spin bowlers wanting. Overall the indications are positive in every direction. Only time will tell if we can capitalize and that depends on individuals.

Bad- ODI Cricket

Siddons has actually cut a lost radar less figure when it comes to one day cricket. I am not sure why ,and can't fathom why that is the case, considering his association with all conquering Australian national team. Could it be that he himself has very limited experience playing one day cricket in his career? Could be, but, surely that can't be an excuse. Here are my issues with his approach :
No.1 : His consistent over emphasis on teams packed with sub-par so called multi-skilled players. I am not blaming the players as they are giving the best with their ability, but opening the bowling with Farhad at the expense of Rasel ( not in this series of course ), who has consistently been our best one day bowler, makes one scratch their head searching for answer. This is just one example. Razzaq has even opened the bowling. Cricket is still a simple game. You pick the best batsmen and the bowlers available who give you a chance to WIN. If you have players who are equally good in both departments, like Sakib, then that player will pick himself. Good teams still win with their six best batsmen and four best bowlers with a few exceptions. Some teams are blessed with great wkt keeper batsmen who open, thus freeing the space for an additional bowler or an all-rounder, or others have the luxury of a great all rounder also batting in the middle order ( Flintoff, Bravo for example ). We already have a Sakib who bats in the top order and bowls ten overs. I don't see any need or the reason to sacrifice a Rasel for a Farhad ( and I like him ) to bolster the batting! This is a defeatist attitude to say the least. We can blame Ashraful for his captaincy, but, I won't blame him too much for being on the back foot, considering the fact that he has too many containment bowlers at his disposal. It just sends a negative mindset and thats something we can do without. Wins are hard to come by as it is and I think he is making it more difficult.
No.2 : I am not sure why he is telegraphing his intentions to the media and to a opponent about our new approach to one day batting. He has publicly stated that aerial routes will be curved or banished. Fine and God knows we need to cut down on those, namely Ash and Aftab, the two cornerstones of our ODI card. But, why publicly air it out? Teams will just bring in extra men to plug gaps on the ground. Like it or not, PP's are a huge component of one day cricket, and quite often the difference between wins and losses. Sometimes, not only it is necessary, but of paramount importance that you clear the infield to get maximum of runs. Teams will usually position their best hitters of the ball in the top three to take advantage of those situations, if they of course have the intention of winning. It is obviously up to the individuals to intelligently exploit the situations. By that I mean, for example, don't go for the hook shot as Ashraful does often, if a deep mid wkt is posted on the ropes. But, to completely ignore the chance to get a six or a four if its there, is beyond me. In the past, I agree, that the likes of Aftab has let themselves and the team down by 'manufacturing' low percentage aerial shots, and it is commendable that Siddons is trying to change that, but to completely ignore the chance of a high percentage boundary, even if its by way of air express, or a sixer, is negative cricket. Intelligent positive approach in one day cricket goes a long way. For a young team like us who are matched unfavorably against every opponent in every department, we just simply can't afford to go into a match with a negative mindset and dubious selection.

To draw a swift conclusion I will recommend that Siddons pays more emphasis on bowlers who are also a threat taking wkts. If top five-six batsmen can't collectively do the task, one or two extra batting hands who are also average bowlers, won't cut the mustard either. When Rasel comes back from injury, he should be an automatic in the one day team. He takes wkts and gives away nothing. His lack of batting skills should be the least of our problems. Mortaza, Rasel, Razzaq and Sakib are capable and will give forty good overs. The fifth bowler should be a bowler first and foremost. Ideally I would like Shahadat to be a fixture in the ODI side as well. Siddons should and must work with him. I would like this team an extended run with a change here and there depending on various situations.

1. Tamim 2 Zunaid/SN/NI 3 Ash ( coach wants him there ) 4 Roqibul ( cool headed run accumulator) 5 Sakib 6 Aftab 7 Rahim 8 Mashrafee ( deserves to bat there ) 9 Razzaq 10 Rasel 11 Shahadat.

Ugly- PR and Man Management.

That aspect of the game, which is not part of the game, yet very much a part of the modern game, has been a disaster for Siddons. Is he guilty of double speak as the allegation that has been labeled against him? Maybe. For one thing, we are not aware of what he says behind closed doors to players, but for sure we are aware of what he says to the media, and it reeks of negativity flushing out of every pours. Media and fans will pounce on it as they have since he has no results to show for. In any case, if he wants to make sure his tenure here stays as smooth as possible, he needs to either say the same what he says inside to the players and to the people outside, or not say anything at all. Underplaying the ability, or undermining any prior achievement of the players can not be of any beneficial advantage. To a man, every player will admit that their biggest weakness is their mental fragility. Why not strengthen it with positive re-enforcement? Players do care. He should do it for them. Head Coaching has evolved in Intl cricket enough that a coach has to perform a multitude of tasks. Unfortunately media savvyness is one part of it. Maybe he is a rookie head coach and not aware of such difficulties. He needs to look no farther than Greg Chapell and his disastarous time in India, another man with a fabulous resume, even more decorated than Siddons. Hopefully, he will learn and make himself a better overall coach, which will benefit not only himself for sure, but also us, who desperately needs to get better.







'
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  #2  
Old June 13, 2008, 01:51 PM
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Aguli.
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  #3  
Old June 13, 2008, 03:11 PM
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Front page onek jaiga khali asey. Akta BMW'er chobi lagaye ei post ta chapano dorkar.

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Old June 13, 2008, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigers_eye
Front page onek jaiga khali asey. Akta BMW'er chobi lagaye ei post ta chapano dorkar.

Dhonnobad.
Agreed.

Beamer, please check your PM.
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  #5  
Old June 13, 2008, 05:31 PM
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Excellent analysis, Beamer! Hats off!
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  #6  
Old June 13, 2008, 05:36 PM
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Jei beta ODI er jhamela thik kortey parey na, oi beta Test er jhamela thik korbo kemney ?
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  #7  
Old June 13, 2008, 11:00 PM
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very nice post... thanx beamer
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  #8  
Old June 14, 2008, 12:13 AM
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Superb.

Hope they will deliver some goods in the test cric.
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Old June 14, 2008, 02:17 AM
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Great analysis Beamer! I guess finally we are all coming to senses.
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  #10  
Old June 14, 2008, 03:43 AM
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Some good points an an excellent post. I share your sentiment about including too many bits and parts players at the expense of specialist batsmen and bowler. Taking ten wickets is still the best way to restrict an opposition total and we simply don't go into ODIs with enough wicket-taking bowlers to do so.

However I disagree on your point about the importance of clearing the infield in PP overs. The same affect can be achieved by placing the ball in gaps while the boundary is unprotected, and the fact remains that our players are utterly rubbish at clearing the infield. You may have a point about his alerting the opposition to the possibility of plugging gaps in the in field in the non-PP overs though.

Last edited by Aritro; June 14, 2008 at 04:06 AM..
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Old June 14, 2008, 04:09 AM
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I like points so Points to note:

* I am guessing selection process of the team doesn't bestow upon Siddons alone, while he is one of the several selectors (I think); even if the decision of dropping rasel was his choice the others had to agree with him for this to work. Anything selection related is a team effort by the selectors, if there are was a wrong decision made in selecting players, this is a fault of the selection team. Not siddons alone. While I like rasel personally as a player, he did play during the pak series in the second ODI, and he sucked balls; giving out 29 runs in three over, being the most expensive bowler in that game. link: http://content-usa.cricinfo.com/pakv...ch/343760.html

* Having made Razzaq to bowl as a opener was the decision of the captain, not siddons. Soddons may have suggected it, we don't have any proof that he did. But the decision was made by Ashraful. And by your argument, to give the best "batsmen and the bowlers available who give you a chance to WIN"; without much argument in this I am sure you will agree with me, that Rasel and Masrafee ARE the two leading strike bowlers in the team. This is actually a FACT, I didn't make it up and you can check their profile page to see for yourself.
The point to make here is that bowling is not our strenth. Specially against world class batting side. Instead of going gung-ho with our below-par boling attack; we should concentrate on containment with excellent fielding and field-placement. A good fielding team can make an average bowling attack look like first-class. Admit it, even when a part-time bowler like Afridi does better than our strike bowlers on regular basis. It begs many questions.

*We need to go back on a time-machine and remind ourselves how we felt when Gordon Grenidge said in public that "we are not ready for test cricket". Apparently, it turns out to be true. While now would be a disaster for us to be stripped off our test status, we need to face the reality of the situation. During the whatmore era we were pampered by the illusion that we can reach the sky; while we were only learning how to walk. Four years after whatmore we are still learning how to walk. We need a coach you tells the obvious, so that when going gets tough we know whats wrong. We need a coach who tells a player that, "Hey! you are no tendulker. But if you follow me and do what I tell you, you might be able to be like him."

* Last but not least. Siddons tells us what the team plan is, so that when we see asraful score 56 from 96 balls we don't loose our sleep and start contemplating unreasonable scenarios; when the obvious is that asraful is buckling down and getting his **** together; finally!

Cheers,
Blah
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  #12  
Old June 14, 2008, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aritro
Some good points an an excellent post. I share your sentiment about including too many bits and parts players at the expense of specialist batsmen and bowler. Taking ten wickets is still the best way to restrict an opposition total and we simply don't go into ODIs with enough wicket-taking bowlers to do so.

However I disagree on your point about the importance of clearing the infield in PP overs. The same affect can be achieved by placing the ball in gaps while the boundary is unprotected, and the fact remains that our players are utterly rubbish at clearing the infield. You may have a point about his alerting the opposition to the possibility of plugging gaps in the in field in the non-PP overs though.
Sure. But, if the ball is there to be hit over the top during the PP's, one should take it. Obviously the player himself has to use his better judgment about which one to go after. However, not every player has the capability to take advantage of it. But, one must position at least two players in the top three who are 'capable' of it for those 20 overs..
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Old June 14, 2008, 10:48 AM
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Fabulous read and spot on as usual.

Thank you twinsanity ...
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Old June 14, 2008, 12:07 PM
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Excellent post and analysis, Beamer.

Thanks.
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Old June 14, 2008, 12:56 PM
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Great Midterm Report Card Beamer Bhai
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  #16  
Old June 14, 2008, 01:30 PM
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Thank you all. Hopefully the yearly report will bring about improvement in all areas of concern.
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Old June 15, 2008, 07:22 PM
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Hats off sire! excellent work.
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  #18  
Old June 16, 2008, 12:02 AM
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Good analysis. To expand on one point of yours, I would say that JS is trying to curve the out of the world expectation of the country men down to reality but not to cut down the hope and thus he is more vocal about his plans to the media. I like this approach as it will align the public (hopefully) and will take away some of the pressure off the players to concentrate on building on their much needed all around skills.
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Old June 16, 2008, 02:57 AM
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অনেক দিন পরে একটা পড়ার মতো post ... Kudos Beamer
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Old June 16, 2008, 12:19 PM
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Great analysis Beamer.

Just out of curiosity, what is your comment on the granite pitch idea that he used prior to NZ tour? That idea seemed to have evaporated over time - or is it because we haven't played in bouncy pitches after that tour?
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  #21  
Old June 16, 2008, 12:47 PM
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excellent post beamer bhaiyya.. amaizing analysis
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  #22  
Old June 17, 2008, 08:47 PM
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I have to admit I was extremely happy with Siddons when he kicked out JO and brought in Zunaed to partner Tamim. It's unfortunate that Zunaed bowed out to the pressure in international cricket. A coach can't do much about this kind of stuff other than giving the player time off from the team. I hope to see the Tamim-Zunaed pair has been restored by the end of this year.

I am watching with interest what Siddons does with Ashraful. It's not a bad idea at all to make Ashraful cut down on his aerial shots. However, I like to see him being trained to play his shots along the ground, not being turned into a Rajin style grafter who struggles to find gaps.

Anyway, our batting is always inconsistent, I don't expect Siddons to make a quick fix here. What worries me more is how our bowling department has degraded during his period. Our bowlers have lost their bowling discipline under his coaching. BCB has now appointed Sarwar Imran as the bowling coach, let's see if he can help the situation (I would be happier if Ramanayake was given this job.)

Last edited by Eshen; June 17, 2008 at 09:02 PM..
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  #23  
Old June 17, 2008, 08:59 PM
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tamim and zunaed should continue as the openers in the test team, at this point the only question imo is whether zunaed can do it in the one-day format yet.

as for ashraful i don't mind so much if he scores slowly (while he's still learning) as long as he's playing along the ground, eventually he'll find the gaps. he might find it frustrating to begin with but the more he does it the better he'll get. if he doesn't play along the turf and just blocks every ball then it's all going to be pointless and he may as well play all those aerial shots.
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Old June 17, 2008, 09:52 PM
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Oh, btw Beamer, excellent post. Hope to see it in the front page soon.
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  #25  
Old June 18, 2008, 01:07 PM
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Siddons interview in Ittefaq

Few things from his interview. Please forgive me if I have not inculded everything in details

JS is concerned about our bowling.

Most of our batsmen are playing crap shots. He is spending more time teaching them basic of cricket rather then teaching new tricks.

Keen Learner: Tamim Iqbal

Captaincy Material: Sakib (most definitely) then TI and Mash

Asked whteher getting full support from BCB: Sometime they get impatient like fans

Future Target: Within next 2 years score 240-250 regularly

Target for Ash: Likes new Ash and if he listens to him he will win us lot of matches.

there is lot more mentioned if you can read Bangla click the above link
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