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Winning Formula For Kiwis and Lion Hunting

Bangladesh need at least one win from the next two matches if not in both of them against strong New Zealand and tournament favorite England. Bangladesh has not yet beaten the Kiwis in the World Cup but won against England in 2011 in Chittagong and 2015 in Adelaide.

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Bangladesh players celebrate after the fall of wicket.

 

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Bangladesh, off course, won ODI matches against New Zealand in bilateral series and even white washed them. Bangladesh also beat New Zealand in the last Champions Trophy played in England. So it is very much possible winning both the matches but these may not be that easy.

England are the ICC top ranked team in ODI. New Zealand in recent times played wonderfully aggressive cricket.

Before going to greater details let us look at the three squads

England Sqaud:

Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, James Vince, Liam Dawson

New Zealand Squad:

Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Tom Blundell (wk), Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Colin Munro, Ish Sodhi, Henry Nicholls, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Jimmy Neesham

Bangladesh Squad:

Mashrafee Bin Murtaza , Shakib Al Hasan , Tamim Iqubal , Soumya Sarkar , Liton K Das , Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riad , Mosaddeq Hossain , Sabbir Rahman , Mehedy Hasan Miraj, Mohammad Saifuddin , Rubel Hossain ,Mustafizur Rahman and Abu Jayed

Given the relative strength, forms and fitness of England and New Zealand may appear better equipped with all round strength. Bangladesh off course is the most experienced team in the tournament.

Mashrafe, Shakib, Tamim and Mushfiqur are playing World Cup since 2007. Though in ICC ranking Bangladesh is well below the Lions and the Kiwis but by now rest of the cricket world knows about Bangladesh’s capability of winning match against any team.

Bangladesh have recently won the tri-nation ODI series in Ireland and also won its first match against strong South Africa. New Zealand in the first match pulverised Sri Lanka with their superior pace bowling. England won big against South Africa but lost to Pakistan in a high scoring encounter

Any of the three teams can win against the other. There should not be any surprise . Team that plays to the potential, make best use of the conditions would win.

We have skills to beat big teams: Shakib Al Hasan

Formula For Winning Against New Zealand: The strength of New Zealand is in their quality top order batting and world class fast bowling attack. Martin Guptill , Kane Williams and Ros Taylor are world class batsmen. Bangladesh has to somehow work out bowling strategy to get them early .

If Mustafiz and Mehedy Miraj with the new ball can get at least two of the top three early that will create added pressure on the middle order. Experienced Shakib and Mashrafee can control the match in the middle overs. Off course in Munero and Latham Kiwis have to more aggressive batsmen. Grandhomme is a power hitter . Key would be getting early wickets .

If any one of the top three can get going they can produce big hundreds hurting the cause of Bangladesh. Against New Zealand Bangladesh would definitely not break the winning combination. New Zealand is not known as great players of spin bowling . But most of their top batsmen playing in IPL franchise had good home works against quality spin on spinning tracks.

Yet Shakib and Miraj are quality spinners. They can strangle Kiwis middle order making run scoring difficult. If Bangladesh can restrict New Zealand below 270 they will have opportunity to chase and win.

The match will be played in Oval and with Sun Shining Bangladesh batsmen have little reason to worry about Kiwi bowling .
Trent Boult , Tim Southee , Mat Henry and Lockie Ferguson may not find similar bounce and pace at Oval which they enjoyed against Sri Lanka at Southampton .

Moreover , Bangladesh plays fast short deliveries much better now. The key would be not losing wickets in the first ten overs. If Tamim and Soumya survives the early burst of Boult and Southee team can post challenging target .

Wicket in the second half in day night match may assist spinners . So winning the toss and batting would be the key . Since pace bowling is the strength of New Zealand would tend suggesting including Liton K Das in place of Mithun for the match and slotting him at number three.

Shakib though in pristine form batting at three would be better contribute at five. Soumya and Tamim are both left handers, Right handers Liton and Mushfique at three and four would let left and right handers combination going over longer duration.

Having already seen few matches at Oval it appears that wicket gets slower as the match progresses. The match between Bangladesh and India is a day night match. Batting second and if that turns out to be chasing a huge score may be challenging.

New Zealand spin attack may not cause any issue for Bangladesh. World Cup is very different than bilateral series. Both the team have won their first matches. New Zealand batting has not been exposed as none but the openers were required batting in 10 wickets win.

All the Bangladesh batsmen baked their skins well under sunshine and quality bowling of South Africa at Oval.

Bangladesh England Match: With every match Bangladesh playing the team is getting stronger and stronger. The exposure to similar conditions in Ireland and four excellent matches there tuned Bangladesh well. On the other hand England considered top favourite in 2019 world cup suffered an unexpected if not surprised reverse against Pakistan.

England playing at home and having favourite tag have lot at stake. Bangladesh has no such pressure. If Bangladesh win their match against New Zealand the will have their winning momentum going when they meet England.

Off course it wont be an easy task at all producing A match on consistent basis against top teams. Bangladesh proved to be a boggy team for England over the past two world cups. England lost to Bangladesh narrowly in Chittagong in 2011. Bangladesh surprised the Cricket world beating England against in Adelaide in 2015.Mahmudullah and Rubel were heroes in that match.

For the match against England I would suggest playing Rubel in the team and slotting Mahmudullah batting at three in that match. Bangladesh also beat England in test in Dhaka where Miraj and Shakib played hell with their batting.

The strength of England is superb batting all the way and power hitters in the middle and late orders. Bangladesh has to bowl and field well restricting England below 300 if possible. Pakistan yesterday exposed chink in the arms of English team.

Hope English coach mentors Bangladesh well giving them tips how to bowl against key English batsmen. I do not think English bowling has any mystery that Bangladesh batsmen can not decode . Off Course Jofra Archer and Mark wood bowls at or around 150 Kph.

Woakes and Stokes are quality bowlers. Mion Ali and Adil Rashid should not create issue at all. All Bangladesh batsmen are in sweet touch. Batsmen can definitely put up a challenging score letting the bowlers the window of opportunity to attack English lions.

Anyway England will be desperate not to loose another match against Bangladesh. That will create opportunity which Bangladesh must exploit.

It will be great if Bangladesh wins both the matches. Even winning one of the two wont be bad. No team in this year’s tournament would remain unbeaten. Hope Bangladesh makes a precious Eid Gift to millions of adoring fans across the world tomorrow.

Saleque Sufi

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