The 2023 ICC World Cup is in full swing, and defending champions England have been a team under scrutiny. In their opening match, England faced a humbling defeat at the hands of New Zealand, setting off alarm bells. However, let’s not write them off just yet, as England remains one of the top contenders in this tournament.
England’s Rough Start:
England’s World Cup journey kicked off with a lackluster performance against New Zealand in Ahmedabad. On a batting-friendly pitch, England could only muster a modest 282-9. New Zealand’s reply was ruthless, chasing down the target with ease, leaving England with a bitter taste of defeat.
But here’s the thing: one loss does not define a team, especially not the reigning champions. England had an off day, and it’s likely they will bounce back with determination.
Key players to watch out for in the English camp include Dawid Malan, whose recent form has been exceptional. He boasts an average of nearly 70 in his last seven matches and has a strong record against Bangladesh in ODIs. Jos Buttler, a destructive middle-order batsman, is always a threat. Ben Stokes, if fit, can provide stability to the middle order, and Liam Livingstone’s ability to clear the boundary against spinners is a valuable asset.
While England’s batting lineup is formidable, their bowling lacks the usual X-factor. Adil Rashid will be crucial in the spin department, but the pitch in this game is expected to favor pacers more. Chris Woakes and Mark Wood can make life difficult for Bangladesh’s top order.
Bangladesh’s Flying Start:
In stark contrast, Bangladesh has enjoyed a near-perfect start to their 2023 ODI World Cup campaign. They convincingly defeated Afghanistan, bowling them out for just 156 and then chasing the target with ease, securing a 6-wicket victory.
Bangladesh’s spinners, led by captain Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz, were the architects of their win, picking up crucial wickets with impressive economy rates. Left-arm seamer Shoriful Islam also made a valuable contribution.
For England’s batsmen, facing Bangladesh’s spinners on this pitch will be a stern test. Bangladesh’s bowlers have adapted to the conditions and will have a few tricks up their sleeves. Additionally, fast bowler Taskin Ahmed, who has taken 12 wickets in his last six matches, will exploit the bounce and movement on this surface.
In the batting department, Bangladesh will rely on Najmul Hossain Shanto, their most in-form batsman, who has been averaging an impressive 84.75 in his last five matches. Mehidy Hasan Miraz, an all-rounder, is growing in confidence and can be a key contributor with both bat and ball.
Bangladesh’s Predicted Playing XI: Tanzid Hasan, Litton Das, Najmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Towhid Hridoy, Mahmudullah, Taskin Ahmed, Shoriful Islam, Mustafizur Rahman
England ODI Stats and History
Total Match Played = 787
Won = 396
Loss = 352
No Result = 31
Tie = 8
Bangladesh ODI Stats and History
Total Match Played = 424
Won = 155
Loss = 259
No Result = 10
Tie = 0
England vs Bangladesh head-to-head stats
Total Match Played = 24
England won = 19
Bangladesh won = 5
No Result = 0
Pitch and Weather Conditions:
The Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium offers consistent help to seam bowlers, with bounce and movement throughout. Spinners will also enjoy the bounce from the pitch. While batting won’t be easy, once settled, batsmen can post competitive scores. The weather in Dharamsala is expected to be partly sunny with a possible shower in the afternoon.
This venue has witnessed low-scoring encounters, with teams often struggling to breach the 200-run mark. The team batting first should aim for a target of around 260-270 runs.
Toss: To Bowl:
Teams batting second have enjoyed success at this venue, winning four out of five games, including the previous match between Bangladesh and Afghanistan in this tournament. It’s likely that the toss-winning team in this match will choose to field first.
While Bangladesh has historically given England a run for their money in ICC ODI World Cup matches, with two wins out of four encounters, England’s overall head-to-head record against Bangladesh in ODIs is 19-5. The conditions and England’s seam bowling unit, potentially strengthened by Ben Stokes’ return, suggest that England should dominate this contest. However, Bangladesh can provide stiff competition and may even pull off a surprise. In the end, the balance and strength of the two squads favor England in this exciting clash of cricketing titans.
Today’s Match Prediction: England
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