Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach, has said that his team will target Australia’s new captain, Michael Clarke, during the three-ODI series, which begins on April 9 in Dhaka. The Australian team left for Bangladesh today and they will play a warm-up game on April 7 before the series begins.
”Every team targets the captain and we will be wanting to get rid of him [Clarke],” Siddons told the Sydney Morning Herald. ”If we get to him, it means we will have got through the openers and [Ricky] Ponting, and we’ll be happy to have a crack at him. Obviously if you cut off the head the rest will fall. That’s the theme – to take the captain out.”
Bangladesh will focus on stalling Australia with their spinners, and Siddons was hopeful that the left-arm options at his disposal, and the captain Shakib Al Hasan in particular, would play a crucial role in the series.
”He [Shakib] doubts himself very little against the best players in the world and he is probably the best left-arm spinner I’ve seen. He and [Daniel] Vettori are very close. [Shakib] spins the ball a lot more and as far as street-smarts go, he is the same as Vettori, I reckon.
”I’ve got a long memory so I remember all these things from when I was on tour with the [Australian] boys. We just think we can hold them up a bit with our left-arm spinners and make some inroads into their batting order.”
Bangladesh had a disappointing World Cup: they were eliminated from Group B after winning only three league matches, though one of those victories was against England. Siddons’ contract as Bangladesh coach is up for renewal in June but in the event it is not renewed he said he would accept a position at Cricket Australia’s Centre of Excellence.