Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach, has called on his captain and most experienced batsman, Mohammad Ashraful, to start performing ahead of their fourth ODI against Pakistan in Multan.
Ashraful has had a poor series so far, scoring only 47 runs in three innings, as Bangladesh have relied heavily on contributions from Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah Riad and Shakib Al Hasan. “I am concerned about his performances,” Siddons said. “As captain of the team, he needs to perform and score.”
It can’t yet be said how captaincy has affected Ashraful’s batting. He averages two runs more than his career figure of 22.26 in 15 matches as captain, though he has only scored two fifties in that period. But when Bangladesh have done well, he has usually been at the centre.
He looked to be getting some form back in the third ODI in Lahore, but he was run out when set, for 22. “Ashraful is the most experienced batsman in our side,” Siddons said. “Whenever he performs the team wins. I have spoken to him about it. The way he has been training I think a big score is round the corner.”
Siddons will hope his words have the same effect on Ashraful that they did on Shakib. After the second ODI in Faisalabad, Siddons highlighted the need for his top six - particularly Shakib - to start scoring runs. Shakib responded with 75 in the third ODI, taking Bangladesh closer than many thought to Pakistan.
“I put the heat on Shakib and Aftab [Ahmed] after Faisalabad and they responded well to it,” Siddons said. “I am now putting the heat on Ashraful in the same way. I am confident he will come good in the last two matches.”
Bangladesh’s batting has improved as the series has progressed and their total in Lahore was comfortably their highest against established opposition, as well as their highest second innings score in an ODI. If Ashraful joins Tamim, Shakib and Aftab in scoring runs against an experimental Pakistan attack, we may well have a match on our hands.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Wednesday, April 16th, 2008 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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