'Tigers need help' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 08, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 08, 2008

Kitply Cup Bangladesh-India-Pakistan

'Tigers need help'


Bangladesh all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad pulls a long-hop at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium nets yesterday during a training session on the eve of their Kitply Cup opener against Pakistan.Photo: STAR

It would not be wise to ask the Tigers whether they want to put end to Pakistan's eleven-match winning streak when they play the Kitply Cup opener against Shoaib Malik's side at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.
Not because of their recent poor performance, but the question would never arise due to their lack of confidence or belief. The Tigers earned a rare reputation of being a 'dangerous team' in the limited-overs version who can at anytime turn the table after scintillating performances in the last World Cup in West Indies.
But it seems that the self-belief of winning a match is nowhere to be found in the Tigers dressing-room for the last few months. One may find the reasons behind this if he or she took the words of coach Jamie Siddons, who believes that there were 'reasons' behind winning matches against India and South Africa in the World Cup.
The reason behind the Tigers' victories was 'helpful' wickets, said the Australian when asked at the press conference about Bangladesh's gradual decline since the brilliance in the World Cup.
"I have looked closely at the World Cup wins and they were particular reasons for those wins. The wicket was very helpful and we bowled out India and chased down their target. I am sure if we get a wicket that seams around a bit and we are chasing 190, I am sure we will be competitive and probably win the game again," said Siddons.
"There are reasons always for us winning games," he added.
So it is better to think about individual and team improvement and take it as a huge learning curve. Siddons however wished that his boys would be competitive and it would be fantastic if they win a match for him.
“We stuck with almost the same players. We are actually in a learning curve. I want improvement from each ball. We hope to put some competitive cricket out there and if we get a win, that would be fantastic,” he said.
Despite the recent poor performance, Siddons is enjoying every moment while coaching Bangladesh team as he has found a lot of positive signs in the last few performances.
“During the Pakistan tour and the home series against Ireland they (Bangladesh) did well and that is massively encouraging,” he added.
Bangladesh captain Mohammad Ashraful also echoed his coach's sentiment by saying that his side is looking forward to show some improvement both individually and as a team in the tri-series involving two subcontinent giants.
The batting is the main concern for the Tigers because their performance in the two warm-up games remained dismal. So it was hard to believe that everything will change within a short time.
"You cannot expect any changes overnight. Our main target is to show improvement both individually and as a team. We are in a learning process, so you have to give some time to get the result," said Ashraful.
The right-hander, who has gone through a long lean patch, said that the challenge will be same for his batsmen despite the fact the Pakistan will miss their two frontline bowlers -- Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Asif.
"In the last series against Pakistan, Asif played only one match against us. Actually they still have some good bowlers in the team. So the challenge would be the same for us," explained Ashraful.
What Bangladesh captain believed was that they can only push their opponents if they put up a 250-plus score on the board.
But right now nobody want to believe that they can do it and if they want to reach the target, there is none other than Ashraful who has to come out from his long hibernation to script another victory like Cardiff or at the Providence Stadium.
TEAMS
BANGLADESH (from): Mohammad Ashraful (captain), Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (vice-captain), Tamim Iqbal, Shahriar Nafees, Alok Kapali, Rokibul Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad, Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Dollar Mahmud and Forhad Reza.
PAKISTAN (from): Shoaib Malik (captain), Salman Butt, Nasir Jamshed, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Misbahul Haq, Shahid Afridi, Kamran Akmal (wk), Sohail Khan, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Rao Iftikhar, Wahab Riaz, Fawwad Alam, Bazid Khan and Naumanullah.

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