Strauss demands more from England
England captain Andrew Strauss called for improvement despite leading his side to an emphatic series whitewash over Bangladesh today.
England’s bowlers skittled the tourists inside a session for a second time to wrap up a 2-0 success, with victory coming by an innings and 80 runs at Old Trafford.
Bangladesh had been a healthy 96 without loss in reply to England’s 419 at tea yesterday but then dramatically lost their way to lose inside three days.
Strauss said: “Two crazy sessions to finish the game - a nice way to wrap things up. Generally we did a very professional and efficient job and a lot has come from these two games of cricket.
“We are pretty happy with the way things went but we are also realistic, there are more significant and sterner tests to come for us.
“I think over the two Test matches there were periods when we would have liked to have bowled better, and there were periods we probably would have liked to have batted better as well.
“I think that is probably the way of looking at it, rather than at what the opposition did. That is not something we can control particularly.”
Strauss was never concerned the game might drift away from his side even though Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal put them on the back foot with a brilliant century yesterday.
Strauss said: “Our plan A hadn’t worked so we had to go back to the drawing board. In situations like that it is important to keep calm and logical, rather than do what your emotions tell you to do.
“Tamim is a very talented batsman who scores quickly and all around the ground, and he is in great nick. That is a pretty good combination.
“At times we didn’t bowl very well at him but at times he was hitting our good balls for four. I think you have just got to take your hat off and say, ‘Well played’.
“Maybe we didn’t get our plans 100% right all the time but we always came back strongly, which was pretty important.”
The match was another encouraging one for 21-year-old Steven Finn, who took his wicket tally for the series to 15 with 5-42 today.
That earned him the England man-of-the-series award and Strauss was pleased with both his output and that of Ajmal Shahzad, who took four wickets on debut in Manchester.
Strauss said: “Long term you are never going to play the same XI. It is impossible to believe that is going to happen.
“You need to have good strength in depth in the bowling resources. We always thought Steven and Ajmal had the capability of playing Test cricket.
“Finny has shown that over the four Test matches he has played. He has got a good future ahead of him.
“Ajmal has taken what we saw in the nets, which we were quite impressed by, out into the middle. He has added his name to that list of guys that are there or thereabouts for selection.”
Finn played down his achievement in recording a five-wicket haul for a second successive Test.
The Middlesex seamer said: “I was quite fortunate to take five today, I think the other guys bowled fantastically well, especially Ajmal and Jimmy (Anderson). The pressure they built helped.
“It is fantastic to take two five-fors in two Tests but by no means am I kidding myself that anything is going to be easier from here on in.”
Bangladesh, despite being competitive in parts of both matches, capitulated dismally twice. Graeme Swann took five wickets last night and after Anderson removed Tamim second ball today in a superb opening spell, a hasty defeat seemed inevitable.
Coach Jamie Siddons said: “The conditions, the swing, were just too much for us today and yesterday.
“Swann bowled beautifully as well so take nothing away from them, but we played pretty badly. They bowled very well, both days were good Test bowling.
“Today, any team in the world would have struggled against Anderson. I’m not sure about Finn and Shahzad, but Anderson’s swing would have beaten any left-hander’s bat in those first few overs.
“If things had gone our way we could have knocked them over for a bit less then it’s up to our batsmen. We have two or three who can do that but the others need to catch up. We are still on a learning curve.”