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Four things Tigers need to do better to beat England

  • Published at 08:58 pm June 7th, 2019
Mushfiqur Rahim
Mushfiqur Rahim trains in Cardiff Friday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik from Cardiff

The Tigers' third game is against one of the tournament favorites and Bangladesh will have to come out all guns blazing

Bangladesh will face host England Saturday at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff if the weather permits. The Tigers stared the World Cup with a bang, winning the opening game against the Proteas by 21 runs Sunday at the Oval in London. The Tigers’ second encounter was close as well as they lost by two wickets in the end. Their third game is against one of the tournament favorites and Bangladesh will have to come out all guns blazing.   

On song Tamim required

Bangladesh are having a good time in the middle as far as opening partnership is concerned as the Tigers posted 40-plus scores in the last few innings, which is a real positive sign of confidence. Soumya Sarkar is in good touch, which is helping Bangladesh to build solid opening partnerships. His senior partner Tamim Iqbal also scored runs in the recently concluded tri-nation ODI series in Ireland, smashing two half centuries in four matches there. But the left-hander received a blow just before the World Cup as he was struck in his left wrist while batting during training. Later, Tamim scored 16 off 29 balls against South Africa and 24 off 38 balls against New Zealand. On both the occasions, he got settled but could not score big, and he doesn’t look in full rhythm. Bangladesh need an on song Tamim against England, and all the ingredients are in place as the Chittagong lad has a good record against the English, and also in English conditions.   

Bowler Mashrafe needs to step up

Captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza is leading the team well as usual but Bangladesh have missed his experience in bowling thus far. The veteran pacer has not picked up a wicket in five outings - four ODIs against New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies and Ireland and also against India in the practice match before the World Cup. Mashrafe has been one of the standout bowlers for Bangladesh in the last couple of years. When a critical situation arises, the Tigers need their captain’s experience in the bowling attack to make crucial breakthroughs. In the last match against New Zealand, Mashrafe bowled only five overs and remained wicketless. Bowler Mashrafe needs to step up against England, which he usually has done over the past few years in the 50-over format.  

Big partnerships required  

One of the main reasons behind Bangladesh’s success against South Africa in the opening match was good partnerships in crucial moments of the match. Shakib al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim added 142 for the fourth wicket, which eventually built a strong platform for the Tigers’ biggest ODI total (330) in their history. Against New Zealand, Bangladesh could not string together any significant partnership while batting in the first innings. All the batsmen from Nos one to eight reached double figure but except Shakib, nobody prolonged their innings and thus Bangladesh fell 30-40 runs short of their desired total. Bangladesh certainly need to build big partnerships against England, who have a strong batting order.

Improvement in Mushfiq’s keeping

The major talking point of the last match against the Kiwis was the missed run-out chance by Mushfiq as skipper Kane Williamson was well short of the crease. The bails were dislodged by Mushfiq’s arm before he collected the ball and thus, Williamson survived the run-out opportunity. The eye-catching part of the incident was Mushfiq grabbed the ball before it reached the stumps and so, questions were raised as to how an experienced keeper like Mushfiq did that kind of mistake by breaching the basic rules of wicket-keeping. Mushfiq also missed a catch in the first match against the Proteas, that of Quinton de Kock, which was forgotten eventually as De Kock was run out by Mushfiq off that same delivery after the catch was grassed. Later, Mushfiq took two good catches against the Kiwis but his missed run-out chance proved to be a turning point as the Kiwis clinched the match in what eventually turned out to be a thriller. Mushfiq needs to be more composed as a keeper in the next match as England have a formidable batting line-up and any missed chance could prove costly again.