Siddons aims to make seniors’ last dance end on a high
Jamie Siddons returned to the Tigers' dugout after having left his role as head coach back in 2011. Players such as Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim were in the beginning of their international careers when Siddons was around as head coach back then.
This time he has taken over as batting coach, and he spoke of his and the team management's plans for the senior stars who are at the twilight of their careers.
Both Shakib and Mushfiqur are 35 and Tamim is 33. Siddons said that his aim was to get the seniors to end their careers on a high.
"For the senior players, while I am here now, my aim is to make it the best three years of their careers. If this is going to be the last three years or four years, it's to be their best, not a downward slide. So we're making adjustments and have all agreed to work harder, not less as senior players and that's what we're aiming to do with those senior players," Siddons said while talking to the broadcasters before the third day's play of the second Test between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Siddons said that the performance or attitude has not changed much from the last time he was here and opined that the senior players are still the best of the bunch in Bangladesh cricket, also mentioning Liton Das as someone who is stepping onto the senior role quickly.
"To be honest, I haven't seen massive changes in the performance or the attitude of the players apart from the fact that they are a lot more professional now. I think our senior players are still our best players apart from maybe Liton, who is a middle-of-the-road senior player now and have played a lot of Test match cricket. I think the biggest change is that there are some fantastic fast bowlers now in Bangladesh cricket and that should make us a much stronger team," he said.
Siddons said that the tightly-packed international schedule has made his work harder.
"The ability to bat long periods is fantastic at the moment. From Mushfiq, Liton and Tamim in the first Test…those sorts of things weren't happening when I was there. The amount of balls I hit now in preparation for a game is a lot more. We don't practise as much as we travel and play so much now. It's hard to make changes on the run. That's what I am finding quite difficult as a batting coach. You try and tweak a few little things or fix a few little problems and it's hard for the players to do that between games. We don't have much time to just train," he informed.
Mushfiqur remains one of the batters who keeps to a routine when it comes to preparations. Mushfiqur was able to be more compact in his 175 not out in Dhaka than he has ever been. Siddons spoke of the adjustments Mushfiqur made.
"Mushfiq is a fantastic player and doesn't need too much to turn it around. We made a few adjustments to what he does in preparation and what he needed to do in game with his feet. It seems to have been enough. He batted beautifully at Chittagong and I think this one [at Dhaka] is one of his best hundred. He's confident again now and unstoppable," Siddons said.