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Rupert Wyman 3rd Jun 2010 - 19:42

Improving Bangladesh will still not be good enough at Old Trafford

During the first Test at Lord's, Bangladesh posed England some problems but eventually the tourists' succumbed to a rather heavy defeat as they are seemingly still unable to play consistent cricket.

At the home of cricket it was the bowling and fielding that let Bangladesh down as the bowlers could not keep a disciplined line and kept on delivering some loose balls to relieve pressure on England's batsmen.

The seamers, with the exception of Shahadat Hossain who picked up five first-innings wickets, were quite frankly poor and as a result Bangladesh could well play with two spinners in the second Test at Old Trafford.

In addition their coach Jamie Siddons believes that a number of England's line-up is susceptible against slower bowlers including Kevin Pietersen. At Lord's KP was dimissed by Bangladeshi captain Shakib Al Hasan for the 16th time in his career.

Therefore it won't be surprising if Abdur Razzak is named in the starting line-up at the expense of one of the seamers.

Despite England's weakness against spin, the Three Lions should still have more than enough talent to see off Bangladesh yet again and seal a 2-0 series win.

Unsurprisingly England are the hot favourites at 1/8 to win the second Test and as the weather is expected to be good any other result cannot be seriously considered.

In the first Test England's first innings was held together by Jonathan Trott's fantastic 226. However, most of the talk afterwards regarding England's number three was about his procedure before facing each ball.

It certainly rubbed Bangladesh up the wrong way even though Trott does it to focus on the matter in hand rather than to deliberately hold up play.

If Bangladesh can get inside Trott's head and distract him from his process then the Warwickshire man could struggle like he did during the winter tour.

Opener Alastair Cook continued his early season struggles at Lord's and therefore once again I would leave the Essex man alone at 4/1 to top score for England in the first innings.

Pietersen is the favourite, as always, in this market at 3/1, but with his aforementioned problems against spin the preference has to be Andrew Strauss at 10/3 following his assured knocks of 83 and 82 at Lord's.

Other than Trott, England's star of the first Test was home debutant Steve Finn with his nine-wicket haul.

The giant seamer should relish the wicket in Manchester as it should be hard and bouncy and with his height he should cause the tourists no end of problems.

Old Trafford was arguably the scene of another giant Englishman's last great performance - Steve Harmison. In 2006 Harmy traumatised Pakistan's line-up and Finn will be expecting to do the same to Bangladesh's.

Finn is 3/1 to be England's top bowler in the first innings in a market which is led by James Anderson at 15/8. Anderson was not at his best at Lord's but he still picked up four first-innings wickets and will be all the better for shaking off some rustiness which no doubt developed whilst sitting on the sidelines watching England conquer the world in the Caribbean.

Nevertheless Finn should be the bet in this market despite the fact he has never played at Old Trafford but if he bowls like he did at Lord's then he could even surpass his figures from last week.

The player that led the resistance at Lord's for Bangladesh was Tamim Iqbal. The opener hit 55 in the first innings and 103 from 100 balls in the second innings.

Tamim is 10/3 to top score in the first innings but I like the look of Shakib at 6/1. The captain may have failed twice last week and only come in at six but he is a talented player and looks a bit of value.

Despite his efforts though there should be no stopping England romping home yet again as they look to further develop as a team ahead of this winter's Ashes.



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