The match which is of so much importance to both teams as it will decide who will enter the quarter-finals. England have been rusty this World Cup and haven’t got what they had expected in each of their encounters. Easily down against Australia and New Zealand and having shown no competitive spirit against Sri Lanka as well, they have looked like minnows in this tournament. With two games remaining, one against Bangladesh and one against Afghanistan, England have to win both their matches and rely on Bangladesh to lose their both. One of them is in their hand, that is to beat Bangladesh and they would hope New Zealand to beat them as well.
On the other hand, Bangladesh have looked good in this tournament, with wins over Scotland and Afghanistan and a lucky one point against Australia which has put them ahead of England. However, even if they have lost matches against top teams, they haven’t looked as rusty as England. They have displayed some serious cricket and a win against England will be of no surprise. The equation for Bangladesh is simple but difficult. Why so? The equation for Bangladesh to qualify is to win one match in their two games which looks easy when you say that, but a loss against England would probably end their dream of qualifying as beating New Zealand would be a herculean task. New Zealand are unbeaten in the tournament and are table toppers so beating them would be very much difficult. Their main aim would be a win against England, who are looking vulnerable.
England haven’t looked at their best in this World Cup at all. They are team which the opposition takes for increasing their net run rate. That’s the story of England this World Cup. Their batting has looked ordinary and nothing has gone their way. Moeen Ali and Joe Root have scored centuries but they have come against a weaker team in case of Moeen Ali, and in case of Joe Root, the bowling department of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn caused it to go in vain. Everything has looked off sorts for England and I wouldn’t be surprised if Bangladesh win and qualify for the quarter finals.
Bangladeshi Tigers won an epic match against Scotland where they chased down 318 and cause more hurt to England and worsened their equation to qualify. Bangladesh have to win against England as that will be their best bet because beating New Zealand would be a too much of a big ask for them. The batting has looked good in the middle with Sarkar and Shakib Al Hasan, however, the openers need to join the party soon if they got any chance against England. Tamim Iqbal have to score big runs against England and put them under pressure straight away else Bangladesh will be in big trouble. The bowling needs to step up as well. Conceding 318 against a weaker team like Scotland is not acceptable and with England desperate to get along, such bowling won’t help their case of qualifying.
Previous World Cup encounters:
2007 World Cup- England won by 4 wickets
2011 World Cup- Bangladesh won by 2 wickets
The news from the English room is that Alex Hales will be getting a chance to play. But who will be replaced? May be Gary Ballance. He hasn’t been in form in this World Cup at all and hasn’t played a lot of one dayers too coming into this World Cup. He is suited for Test match cricket and bringing Alex Hales, a T20 specialist in place of him will be a good decision. On the other hand, Bangladesh’s opening batsman Anamul Haque is injured and would be replaced by Mominul Haque.
Key players to watch out for:
The captain recently said that his team is still confident of winning the World Cup and it is too early for the experts to write them off at group stage. Well if that is the case, the skipper has to get down and do his job. He will be the man to watch out for in the all important must win game for England.
Shakib Al Hasan:
The no.1 all rounder, Shakib saw his team home against Scotland in a high scoring thriller. His spin bowling is exceptional too as he takes the pace of the bowl and makes the batsmen work hard for his run. His experience in the ODI’s is what makes him the player to watch out for.
Prediction– Bangladesh wins and qualifies for the quarter finals.
Probable playing XI:
Moeen Ali, Ian Bell, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (c), James Taylor, Jos Butler (wk), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Steven Finn
Tamim Iqbal, Mominul Haque, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Sabbir Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Nasir Hossain, Mashrafe Mortaza, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed