Batting first will count
A close look at the light-brown wicket, almost the same colour as the cover, which England skipper Andrew Strauss asked the groundsmen to remove the moment they came for practice on Thursday afternoon, was followed by a long chat between Mushtaq Ahmed, Strauss, Graham Gooch and Andy Flower. Nilankur Das reports.cricket Updated: Mar 11, 2011 01:27 IST
A close look at the light-brown wicket, almost the same colour as the cover, which England skipper Andrew Strauss asked the groundsmen to remove the moment they came for practice on Thursday afternoon, was followed by a long chat between Mushtaq Ahmed, Strauss, Graham Gooch and Andy Flower.
Spinners will obviously play a crucial role and batting first could be the deciding factor as chances are the wicket could break in the second half. Bangladesh rely heavily on their spinners but they will need their batsmen to deliver, something that has left a lot to be desired in the last two matches against Ireland and the West Indies.
England play Bangladesh here at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium on Friday —the ground’s first ODI under lights — with the match gaining in importance following a series of interesting results in the group.
Bangladesh’s fate hangs in a balance. They have to beat the Netherlands and either England or South Africa for a chance to make it to the last-eight.
Expectations of the 16 crore people in the country will be shattered if the team doesn’t make it to the quarterfinals.
A sneak preview of the crowd’s frustration was seen on the streets of Dhaka last Friday when rowdy fans pelted stones at the West Indies team bus.
Following that defeat, the team, and skipper Shakib-Al Hasan in particular, had come under severe criticism.
Ups and down
England, on the other hand, have tied against India in a match they were winning. They lost to Ireland and then came back to beat South Africa in a match they were all set to lose. They need to win against Bangladesh to make it to the quarters.
But between that South Africa match and Friday’s tie against Bangladesh, England have lost two of their match-winners --- Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad.
Eoin Morgan’s return to the squad is a boost. But the fact that it has come at the cost of Pietersen somewhat neutralises the impact. Add to that Pietersen’s off-breaks that could have come in handy on a wicket like this.
Bangladesh’s batting is under severe pressure. Players have thrown their wickets trying to score off every ball and even though coach Jamie Siddons had told Imrul Kayes and Junaid Siddique to play a consolidating role in the middle, their batting at the nets did not invoke a sense of reliability.
But the common factor for both teams is that their bowling and batting have not clicked together in any match, and, as the group league reaches the business end, England especially would want to get a touch more consistent on the field.