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Jonathan Agnew column

James Anderson takes the wicket of Shakib Al Hasan, caught by Andrew Strauss at first slip
Bangladesh's batsmen struggled to adapt to the damp conditions at Lord's

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew
By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent, Lord's

Poor old Bangladesh were really messed about by the weather on Saturday. It's never nice to offer excuses but it's a fair call this time. It was horrible for them and it couldn't have been worse.

It is exactly the situation they didn't want to find themselves in with the bad light and with the ball jagging about, and from 172-2 they lost five wickets for 65 runs and closed the day still needing 69 to avoid the follow-on.

It was also tough for the umpires because the bad light was borderline, but the new ruling means the light is entirely under their jurisdiction and that is the right way to have it.

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They take a reading on their meters, press a button and record that reading to a decimal place. They would not have brought the players back out had that reading been even one decimal point worse than when they went off.

It was horrible for Bangladesh, but it's the only way to do it because towards the end of the day, it generally suits one team better than the other to get off.

So this new ruling takes the gamesmanship out of bad light. The spectators will boo, particularly on a day like today when we lost two-thirds of play, but the umpires have their readings and I believe that is the only way and the right way to go about it.

England also bowled much better. The ball did a lot more and we know that Bangladesh are inexperienced and inadequate at playing in these conditions.

James Anderson looked a lot better, swinging it both into and away from the batsman, but he needs to develop his stock ball.

England seamer James Anderson
Anderson needs to develop a stock ball to get more rewards

It's difficult to know what his stock ball is, but if he bowls away-swing to the right-hander he'll get more rewards like the one he got today with a perfect delivery. It was a classic Anderson ball that removed Jahurul Islam.

He should feel happy with the way he bowled and having taken two wickets that will give his confidence a boost.

Tim Bresnan on the other hand will be frustrated. I'm not sure what he offers other than being a willing workhorse. If Stuart Broad was in the side, he should be second change - he's capable of a support role and bowling lengthy spells, but he's not an incisive wicket-taker and he certainly should not get the new ball.

Anderson and Bresnan have been in Twenty20 mode and used to bowling more variety with slow balls and off-cutters - they haven't been bowling seam upright with straight wrists.

Bowling in Twenty20 and Test cricket are very different skills and they need to go back to basics, which can take a little while, but it illustrates perfectly the difference between the two forms of the game.

Jonathan Agnew was speaking to BBC Sport's Peter Scrivener



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see also
England break Bangladesh resolve
29 May 10 |  England
England v Bangladesh day three photos
29 May 10 |  England
Bangladesh make England struggle
28 May 10 |  England
Trott century puts England on top
27 May 10 |  England
Bresnan targets all-rounder role
25 May 10 |  England
Live cricket on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Cricket
Bangladesh in England 2010
10 Jul 10 |  Cricket


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