Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Well-oiled England favourites despite Bangladesh's advantage of familiarity. Conditions will suit Bangladesh more than England in Abu Dhabi.
Conditions will suit Bangladesh more than England in Abu Dhabi.
It is no surprise that in a country where cricketing passions run high, Bangladesh's faltering World Cup campaign has received stinging criticism. The latest tirade directed their way came from former captain Mashrafe Mortaza who said in a Facebook post following the defeat to Sri Lanka on Sunday (October 24) that the team's coaching staff was a “rehab centre” and “the resort for all South African coaches looking for employment”. Liton Das, who dropped two vital catches against Sri Lanka, has also received plenty of criticism in the wake of the five-wicket loss. It is no picnic playing for Bangladesh, that's for sure.
Their task does not get any easier. Bangladesh play England on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi in the knowledge that a defeat all but ends any hope they have of getting to the semifinals. England's dominance over West Indies on Saturday evening in Dubai stands in contrast to the inconsistent displays of Bangladesh who lost to Scotland in the first round before beating Oman and Papa New Guinea to qualify for the Super 12s. While Bangladesh rely heavily on the experience of Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mustafizur Rahman, England have more all-round quality and depth. On paper, they are clear favourites.
Do Bangladesh have any reason to feel confident of beating England? Perhaps. The defeat to Sri Lanka in the opening game of this phase of the tournament may have appeared comprehensive from the scorecard but Bangladesh were in control when they reduced Sri Lanka to 79 for 4 in pursuit of 172. A miscalculation in their match-ups cost them the match. Sticking with the plan of bowling off-spin to Sri Lanka's left-handers, Mahmudullah used himself and Afif Hossain, part-time bowlers, instead of returning to his frontline men. Those two overs of part-time off-spin cost 31 runs and changed the complexion of Sri Lanka's chase.
Perhaps conditions will suit Bangladesh more than England in Abu Dhabi, too. Slow pitches with low bounce have sometimes caused Eoin Morgan's team problems and if the surface at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium is similar to those that have gone before in this tournament, it is likely to have those same characteristics. If the pitch is slow and takes some turn, Bangladesh may well have an advantage. “Coming to conditions, here it will be quite familiar to their players in terms of what they face at home so we are expecting a tough challenge,” Jos Buttler said on the eve of the game.
Perhaps Bangladesh can put England's batting line-up under some pressure as well. The bowling performance against West Indies was almost flawless but England's batting was a little untidy, losing four wickets in their small chase. Not too much should be read into that but the top order will certainly want to put in a more commanding performance against Bangladesh. England's middle order is a little short of runs too – both Eoin Morgan and Liam Livingstone had disappointing IPL seasons – which Bangladesh might be able to exploit if they can take some early wickets.
There are a lot of ifs, buts and maybes with this Bangladesh side. They have some quality but remain inconsistent and prone to mistakes and miscalculations. As they proved against West Indies, England, in contrast, are a well-oiled machine with plenty of players who can influence games at this level. It would be a surprise should they come unstuck in Abu Dhabi.
When: England v Bangladesh, Super 12 Group 1, 14:00 Local, 15:30 IST
Where: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
What to expect: The scores at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium have been relatively low in this tournament so far. The pitches have not been particularly easy for batting and on the slow side and similar is expected for this game. The afternoon start means there will be no dew for the bowlers to face either.
T20I Head to Head: Remarkably, England and Bangladesh have never played each other in a T20 international.
Injury/Availability Concerns:Mark Wood missed the first game of the tournament with an ankle injury and it remains to be seen whether he has recovered in time for this game. Otherwise, England have a fit squad to pick from.
Tactics & Match-ups: Shakib Al Hasan has a good record against both Jason Roy and Jos Buttler which means Bangladesh might consider giving him the new ball in this match. The earliest Shakib has bowled so far in the tournament is the fourth over. Moeen Ali may play a similar role for England after his success against the West Indies left-handers. There were two southpaws in Bangladesh's top three against Sri Lanka and there could be another one if Liton Das is replaced by Soumya Sarkar.
Possible XI:Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Tymal Mills
Injury/Availability Concerns:Mohammad Saifuddin has had a recurrence of his back pain. If he is unable to take the field tomorrow, Shoriful Islam is likely to replace him.
Tactics & Match-ups: Mohammad Naim, who has scored two half-centuries in the tournament so far, will continue to play the anchor role but he may have a different opening partner. Liton Das has been in poor form and dropped two crucial catches in the previous game against Sri Lanka which could have him miss out. Bangladesh are likely to retain their three spinners as they are taking confidence from the bowling of West Indies' Akeal Hosein against England.
Possible XI:Mohammad Naim, Liton Das/Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan, Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin/Shoriful Islam, Nasum Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman
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What they said:
“We're not scared of anything in the competition. England have a very formidable batting line-up. They play strong cricket. But we're here to compete and to win, and that's what we'll be looking to do tomorrow,” Bangladesh bowling coach Ottis Gibson
“Winning momentum is vital, the way the tournament's set out, there's not much room for mistakes. The beauty of T20 cricket is anyone can beat anyone on their day. But we prepare well, we're a very level team in that we don't get too high or low, we'll try to bring our level of intensity which always gives us the best chance of winning the game,” England vice-captain Jos Buttler
(With Inputs from Atif Azam)