Coach Jamie Siddons speaks on Bangladesh Cricket

Published: January 4, 2010

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Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons believes the Idea Cup tri-series matches will give his charges an idea about where they stand despite the successes they had in international cricket in 2009.

‘I think it’s a fantastic opportunity to see where we are; see how much we have improved. And see how matured the boys have got,’ Siddons said at a press conference ahead of today’s opening match.

Bangladesh will face a new-look Sri Lanka team in the tournament opener. The coach said he is also eagerly waiting to face India, the other team of the tournament, who are now one of the top-ranked teams in the world.
‘I am excited to put them up against India. We need to see whether we are on track before the World Cup. This series is a fantastic opportunity for us to step up. I am looking forward to India, obviously they are super star team and we are not. But that’s the challenge,’ he said.
Bangladesh won all four one-day series they played last year, but it hardly satisfied their critics as they played only against lowly Zimbabwe and West Indies. Siddons said he would have been more confident before going into this tournament had those series wins were against top teams.

‘As I said it wasn’t ideal preparation for this tournament but you can’t always play the best team I guess. Other teams were busy. We had Zimbabwe to beat, West Indies to beat and we did it really well. I think the way we played was pleasing,’ he said.

‘The wins are wins, I mean I love winning. But the way the boys have played, the way they have handled people like Kemar Roach in the West Indies, bowling 150km, with no problem and people like Price of Zimbabwe, top 10 bowler in the world, they played him fantastic,’ he said.
Siddons takes confidence from Bangladesh’s performance against Sri Lanka last year when the islanders were defeated in the league phase and nearly lost the final with their first five wickets going down for six runs.
‘I think the wicket was same here. We should have won that final had Murali not played some pretty good cricket at the end. We have got no fears with Sri Lanka but we will have to play really good cricket to compete against both the sides,’ he said.

Star off-spinner Muralitharan, who is more of a threat as bowler than as a batsman, is missing the tournament as Sri Lanka opted to give him a break. Siddons was delighted that Sri Lanka will be without their other star spinner Ajantha Mendis.

‘Probably we haven’t seen the other two spinners that they are going to put up against us. So, we will see how well the replacement players are, I am sure they are good players. I am sure they have got some tricks up their sleeves. But Murali, Mendis really gave us a hard time last time around. It’s good to see them not here. I am pretty happy with that,’ said Siddons.

Azad Majumder

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