Siddons rues batters not converting starts as Bangladesh collapse again

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It was another case of one step forward, two steps back for Bangladesh. They were bowled out for 234 in the first innings in St Lucia, a vast improvement from the same position in Antigua a week ago, but still not enough to put a dent in West Indies’ confidence. The home side raced to 67 for no loss in reply, courtesy openers John Campbell and Kraigg Brathwaite. Their run rate of 4.18 was much higher than that of their partnership, which is 2.74 on an average, underlying the pitch’s quality for batters.
Batting coach Jamie Siddons therefore, wasn’t too impressed with his charges, particularly those who got out after getting good starts. Litton Das top scored with 53 but in a bid to farm the strike with No. 9 Ebadot Hossain, holed out to mid-on. Tamim Iqbal got off to a quick start, hitting nine boundaries, but was undone by Alzarri Joseph’s extra bounce shortly before lunch.

“(West Indies openers) were aggressive today but I don’t think we bowled well in the first ten overs,” Siddons said. “Tamim (Iqbal) too was aggressive. It probably says a bit about the pitch but once you have seen couple of balls you feel quite comfortable. Tamim felt very comfortable but got one that bounced on him a little bit.

“Tamim and Litton were fantastic, but fifties and forties won’t give you enough runs. They need to go on when they get their starts. Couple of the younger players were really impressive but again, they got out. Couple of umpiring decisions were very close but it didn’t go our way. But (after making) 230, we are struggling at the moment.”

Siddons said that the top four showed a lot more discipline with deliveries outside the off stump, which was the real improvement from the first Test. But the visitors lost five for 60 from a comfortable 105 for two. Mehidy Hasan Miraz, the last recognised batter for Bangladesh on the day, fell with the score on 165. The tail wagged after a long time, taking them to a respectable total.

“We were a lot more patient today. I thought we left the ball really well. We worked on it over the last week. We played at too many balls in the first Test. They bowled really well, but we didn’t bat as long as we would have liked. I don’t think 230 is good enough on that wicket.

“When you bat first there’s a bit of pressure to get the game underway. We handled that okay. Our opening partnership was good. We were 2 for 100, staring at a total of 400, but at 230 we are well short of what we should have achieved today,” Siddons said.

He stressed on the need to bat for time, which Bangladesh have failed to do for all but one Test match in 2022. In overseas Tests, their only 300-plus this year was in the miraculous Mount Maunganui Test. They also haven’t got a 300-plus score in the West Indies in the last nine innings spanning back to 2014.

“We just need to bat longer,” Siddons said. “In Test cricket, you have to bat for a long time. You have to be there at the end of the day. Then we have to be looking to bat on tomorrow. We are failing to do that at the moment.”

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