England pass Bangla test… only just

08 Jun 2010 by Mahendra Prasad in England Vs Bangladesh Test Series 2010

England won test series against BangladeshThe result of the two-Test series between England and Bangladesh was least surprising, with the home side overcoming a stubborn challenge from the least-pedigreed Asian Test team.

However, while the 2-0 scoreline seems impressive, it doesn’t reflect the underlying story, that of England’s struggles in between moments of domination. That Tamim Iqbal managed to register hundreds in both the Tests tells a tale in itself.

At the same time, England fought back well against the rest, and came out of the series with their reputation in tact. Still, keeping the next Ashes in mind, it is very much clear now that England have plenty to work on before taking on the Aussie challenge.

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First and foremost, the English bowlers needed the help of murky conditions to unsettle the Bangladesh batting line-up. This has to be a major cause of worry for Andrew Strauss and co.

It is a given that Bangladesh’s batting is among the weakest in Test cricket. Despite this, there were a number of occasions when England just had no answer to Bangladesh’s onslaught, when they went on the offensive. On the contrary, they just sat back and let the drama unfold. Iqbal’s innings in the first Test left a scathing impact on the Englishmen. He batted with supremely authority in both Test.

It was only when the sun hid behind the clouds that their fortunes changed, and the wickets started tumbling. Suddenly, Steven Finn became unplayable, and James Anderson joined him in the second Test.

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While it was great for England that they captured 20 wickets in consecutive days in the concluding Test of the series, it is also a fact that they wouldn’t be greeted by any such helpful conditions in Australia. And, that is when the true worth of Finn and Anderson will be tested.

The series also gave England a chance to test a couple of their other fringe players, and see how ready they are for the five-day game. Both Ajmal Shahzad and Eoin Morgan, who was a surprise selection considering his unorthodox game, did reasonably well.

Also, Jonathan Trott’s double hundred was a memorable effort. Of late, the batsman has been in the news for some wrong reasons, and it was good for English cricket that he silenced some murmurs with the bat.

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England need him to be among the runs as, in his short international stint, he has shown the maturity of a proper Test cricketer, on more than one occasion. It also helped that skipper Andrew Strauss and the rest got among the runs. And, with Graeme Swann too returning to his wicket-taking ways, England had further cause to celebrate.

At the end of the day, though, one needs to keep in mind that this was Bangladesh, and so their performances can only be viewed as tiny indicators of their capability. It is all the more important that this same yardstick is applied to Finn.

One shouldn’t put too much pressure on the tall fast-bowler so early, hailing him as a prospective Ashes hero. After all, he is yet to achieve anything substantial against a decent side yet. It is the series against Pakistan in late July that will give us all a better idea of what to expect from England and co in the near future.


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