Aus, SA better sides than India: Shakib

Bangla captain hits back at Virender Sehwag for his comment on Bangladesh
Last Updated 16 January 2010, 10:11 IST

At the pre-series press conference, Sehwag addressed the media even though captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was available and said Bangladesh were an ordinary Test side and cannot beat India in the longer format of the game as they don't have the firepower to take 20 Indian wickets.

Addressing the media after Sehwag, Shakib refused to comment on the Indian vice-captain's remark but said Australia and South Africa are better sides than Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men.

"I don't want to comment on what Sehwag said, we want to concentrate on cricket. It was his thought and it is up to him to say what he wants to say," Shakib said.

But, asked about his views on India being the world number one Test side, Shakib said, "India are world number one Test side as of now. They are playing well and they have a very good batting line-up. But Australia and South Africa are better sides (than India ). That is what I think."

The war of words between the two sides, however, has provided some spice to the low-profile two-match Test series starting with the first game at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Cricket stadium here tomorrow.

Asked if Bangladesh was an ordinary side as has been termed by Sehwag, Shakib said his side has played well against some good teams and can win the first Test if their key batsmen and bowlers come up with some fine performance.

"We played well against some good sides. We won against West Indies (in July last year). If our key players come up with some good performance we can even win the Test," said Shakib, who had earlier said that a draw in the first Test would be a good result for his side.

On the strategy of his team tomorrow, Shakib said, "If we win the toss our aim is to bat the whole day and if we bowl we want to take 10 wickets."
Coach Jamie Siddons also refused to react on Sehwag's comment but said his side would look to prove the Indian vice-captain wrong.

"I don't want to comment on what Sehwag has said, it is his thought. We are an improving side and we want to show in the series that we can do well against any side. Hopefully, we will prove Sehwag wrong," he said.
The home team coach, however, conceded that his side lacked the firepower in bowling department.

"Honestly, we don't have potency in pace attack like Australia and South Africa have. Hopefully, our pacers do well against India. We can make enough runs and use declaration to put pressure on India," said Siddons.

Asked about the unavailability of pacer Mashrafe Mortaza, Siddons said, "We are looking for a next Mortaza. Hopefully, someone out of the four quicks in the side becomes one."
Siddons also indicated that his side could include three seamers and two spinners in the playing XI tomorrow.

"We have to choose three out of the four seamers we have and may be two spinners," he said.

(Published 16 January 2010, 09:09 IST)

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