Cricket World Cup 2011

Prior to open as Eng bat

2011-03-11 10:24
New opener Matt Prior. (AFP)

Chittagong - Andrew Strauss' opening partner has been confirmed as Matt Prior, as England have been put in to bat by Bangladesh.

England will look to seal their quarter-final berth in the match against Bangladesh, who are fighting to stay in the competition.

These two teams know each other inside-out, with the first half of 2010 including four Tests and six ODIs, split home and away - and the shorter the format, the smaller the gulf between the teams.

Bangladesh could and should have claimed the second ODI in Dhaka 12 months ago, only for a nerveless Eoin Morgan to seal a two-wicket victory with his maiden England century. Then at Bristol in July, the Tigers finally pounced, with Shafiul Islam's last-over dismissal securing an epic five-run victory.

Following their abominable effort against West Indies, Bangladesh will doubtless feel liberated with their expectations back at rock-bottom. The intervening days have been devoted to speculation about Shakib's position as captain, with a media furore accompanying a photo apparently showing him gesturing to the crowd during the post-match presentations at Mirpur. At times such as these, the safest place is often the middle of a cricket pitch. A decent start and a pumped-up crowd, and who knows what could be possible.

Form guide
Bangladesh LWLWW
England WLTWL

Watch out for...

England have had a rough time with injuries in the past few days, with Kevin Pietersen's hernia proving too much for the player to deal with, and Stuart Broad's side strain forcing him home early for the second time this winter. But the undeniable bonus is the return of Eoin Morgan, arguably the most innovative one-day batsman in the world game at present, and a man around whom England had built all of the strategies that have been so conspicuously absent from their suck-it-and-see approach to date. The broken finger he sustained in Australia has healed more quickly than anticipated, and he had been back in the nets with Middlesex before his SOS from Andy Flower. The aforementioned Dhaka century was a masterful example of how to finish a one-day innings. He's ready to start out again.

A calm 70 against India set the tone for Bangladesh's World Cup campaign, a violent 44 made the difference in a tight contest against Ireland. But never has Tamim Iqbal's importance to the Bangladeshi cause been so starkly demonstrated than during that debacle against West Indies. From the moment he chopped Kemar Roach to second slip in the first over of the match, the atmosphere was sucked clean out of the Shere-e-Bangla stadium, and with it the belief of all his team-mates. Against England, his role can only be amplified. He has smacked the small matter of three hundreds, two eighties and a pair of breezy fifties in his 11 matches to date, and by the end of the Tests in England, the bowlers' strategy was simply to wait for the hurricane to blow itself out. While he's still at the crease, Strauss and his men know they can't relax for an instant.

Team news

England: Andrew Strauss (capt), Matt Prior (w/k), Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan, Tim Bresnan, Michael Yardy, Graeme Swann, Ajmal Shahzad, James Anderson.

Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Junaid Siddique, Raqibul Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Shakib Al Hasan (capt), Mahmudullah, Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam.

Pitch and conditions

The weather has been dry and hot, though not unbearably so. The pitch promises to be a typical Chittagong strip of tarmac - dry and flat, with a touch of turn and low bounce. It was the livelier of the two surfaces on England's tour in 2009-10, though that is not saying much.

Stats and trivia

England and Bangladesh have only faced each other once in previous World Cups - at Bridgetown in 2007, when England ground to an unconvincing four-wicket win.

Tamim Iqbal has scored 730 runs at 48.66 in his 11 matches against England, including a run of six half-centuries in seven Test innings. His highest score against England, 125, came in his first match against them, the first ODI in Dhaka in February 2010.

Andrew Strauss has never played an ODI in Bangladesh, having been rested for last year's tour. He scored 154 in his last match against them, at Edgbaston in July 2010.


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Cricket World Cup 2011

The day Aussies went 'soft'?

2011-04-01 07:37

Newly appointed Michael Clarke seems to represent a seismic change to Australian cricket captaincy characteristics. Read More


Who would you like to see named as the next Proteas' coach?


Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.