Cricket World Cup 2023 | England braces for a trial by spin against Bangladesh

Pivotal: Rashid and Moeen will be a force to reckon with against left-handed Bangladesh batters. 

Pivotal: Rashid and Moeen will be a force to reckon with against left-handed Bangladesh batters. 

The WrestleMania 36 theme song, Blinding Lights by The Weeknd, was blaring from a Bluetooth speaker as Harry Brook headed to the nets at the HPCA Stadium accompanied by two net bowlers: a left-arm spinner and a leg-spinner.

He shaped up for a cut first ball from the left-armer and was hit on the pads. After a few plays and misses and a couple of close leaves, Brook started middling the ball and held his shape after playing a drive. On cue, the speaker played Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You.

England’s training session, ahead of its second ODI World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh on Tuesday, had a proper British vibe going, with Dua Lipa, Sheeran, and Harry Styles providing the ideal background score. Brook batted for 45 minutes, the bulk of it against left-arm spin, setting the tone for the rest of the English batters.

Fresh pitch

Tuesday’s match will be played on a fresh pitch. If it is also slightly dry and holding, England’s batters may have trouble playing freely. Bangladesh’s attack is diverse, with left and right-arm, swing, and spin bowlers. Mustafizur Rahman effectively used the short-ball approach in the first batting Powerplay against Afghanistan by placing men at deep-point and deep square-leg. This strategy is one way to play with the egos of English openers and tempt them into making mistakes.

The Bangladesh spinners strategically placed fielders at the edge of the circle and encouraged the Afghan batters to take risks by tossing the ball up. The way England responds to this tactic could determine the outcome of the match.

Bangladesh will exercise caution in using too much left-arm spin, given that England has three left-handers in its top seven in the absence of Ben Stokes. It will be interesting to see how Shakib Al Hasan manages his overs. Bangladesh is well aware that England is the first team to hold both ODI and T20 world championships concurrently, and that is no coincidence. underestimating England could prove to be a costly mistake.

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