Bangladesh may bring back Taskin, while England may not yet risk playing Wood after a niggle made him miss out against West Indies
Moeen Ali and Tymal Mills led the destruction before Adil Rashid ran through the West Indies lower order with extraordinary figures of 4 for 2. England bowled West Indies out for 55, their second-lowest all out total in T20Is, and the lowest total by a Test-playing nation in the T20 World Cup.
And although England lost four wickets in the short chase, that wouldn’t have bothered Eoin Morgan, as they preferred to tweak their batting order to suit the situation. Already Jason Roy and Jos Buttler offer one of the most dangerous opening pairings in the world, while a middle order consisting of Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone and Morgan remains handful for any bowling attack.
Also, England’s bowlers remain a threat for Bangladesh despite their encouraging score against Sri Lanka in Sharjah. Although Mohammad Naim remains in good form with two fifties in three innings in the tournament so far, he must pick up pace once set. Liton Das hasn’t hit the strides yet, with the two dropped catches against Sri Lanka further denting his confidence.
Thus, Bangladesh will be reliant on their middle-order engine room of Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and captain Mahmudullah. Although Shakib missed out on a good score against Sri Lanka at No. 3, it is unlikely he will not be in the runs for too long, as Mushfiqur finally struck a T20I fifty in the last game – his first in two years.
Mahmudullah has his work cut out too. He is among the runs but his captaincy was being questioned after he used himself and Afif Hossain for three overs against Sri Lanka’s left-hand batters, which eventually turned out to be big ones for the opponents. Bangladesh can’t afford too many such mistakes against England or in any of their remaining matches.
They had said that they targeted reaching the semi-final this time, but for now they need to get going with a win first. England, meanwhile, look primed for another big performance.
Bangladesh LWWLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Bangladesh may bring back Taskin Ahmed in place of Nasum Ahmed in Abu Dhabi, where conditions could favour seamers. Soumya Sarkar, Shamim Hossain and Shoriful Islam continue to warm the bench, as Bangladesh look likely to go with the tried-and-tested combination.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Mohammad Naim, 2 Liton Das, 3 Shakib Al Hasan, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Mahmudullah (capt), 6 Afif Hossain, 7 Nurul Hasan (wk), 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Mohammad Saifuddin, 10 Taskin Ahmed, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
England (probable): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jos Buttler (wk), 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Liam Livingstone, 6 Eoin Morgan, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Chris Jordan, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Tymal Mills/Mark Wood
Stats and trivia
“I’m working as hard as I ever have off the field. I’ve had another really good training session and things feel like they’re getting back to where they were in the summer. Hopefully I can take that into the next couple of games.”
England batter Liam Livingstone is confident of a return to form after a lean run since the start of the IPL.
“We have the cutters of Mustafizur, the death bowling of Saifuddin and the pace of Taskin. We also have the pace of the left-handed variety of Shoriful in our squad. The captain, the coach and the chairman of selectors will look at all those options, and then choose the best option to win the match.”
Bangladesh fast-bowling coach Ottis Gibson is banking on the variety of his attack against England.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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Megan Schutt is not part of the Australia line-up in Canberra
England won the toss and decided to bowl against Australia
Heather Knight gave her bowlers the chance to find some early help from the Canberra surface after putting Australia into bat in the one-off Ashes Test with both sides fielding a debutant.
Legspinner Alana King came into the Australia side and is part of an attack that does not feature the experienced Megan Schutt who is being carefully managed ahead of the ODI World Cup. Darcie Brown, Annabel Sutherland, Tahlia McGrath and Ellyse Perry are the pace-bowling options.
Schutt contracted Covid-19 late last year which has affected her conditioning and the selectors have an eye on the World Cup next month, but a CA spokesperson said she was medically fit for selection.
In an interesting batting-order tweak, captain Meg Lanning was listed at No. 5 with Beth Mooney, playing just 10 days after fracturing her jaw, due to come in at No. 3.
England have handed a first cap to offspinner Charlie Dean in a side with five specialist bowlers which was flagged yesterday by Knight. She will support left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone while the experienced trio of Katherine Brunt, Anya Shrubsole and Kate Cross make up the pace attack alongside allrounder Nat Sciver.
The opening day is set fair although there is the forecast of some storms over the weekend. The Test carries four points in the multi-format series – if Australia win they will retain the Ashes.
Australia 1 Rachael Haynes, 2 Alyssa Healy (wk), 3 Beth Mooney, 4 Ellyse Perry, 5 Meg Lanning (capt), 6 Tahlia McGrath, 7 Ashleigh Gardner, 8 Annabel Sutherland, 9 Jess Jonassen, 10 Alana King, 11 Darcie Brown
England 1 Tammy Beaumont, 2 Lauren Winfield-Hill, 3 Heather Knight (capt), 4 Nat Sciver, 5 Sophia Dunkley, 6 Amy Jones (wk), 7 Katherine Brunt, 8 Charlie Dean, 9 Anya Shrubsole, 10 Sophie Ecclestone, 11 Kate Cross
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo
West Indies tour of India
Bonner, Bravo and King strengthen batting for India tour after shock Ireland defeat
Roach is one of six additions to the squad that lost 2-1 at home to Ireland this month, with Roston Chase and Justin Greaves among the players dropping out of the squad after lean series with the bat.
“Kemar Roach is one of our leading fast bowlers,” Haynes said, “and we believe we need bowlers up front to get early wickets. Kemar, with an economy rate of five, is certainly good enough to play.”
The three-match ODI series, which will be played in Ahmedabad on February 6, 9 and 11, is part of the ODI Super League which forms the pathway for the 2023 World Cup, which is scheduled in India in October-November next year.
Greaves struggled in all three matches and has now been replaced by Bonner, who made his ODI debut in Bangladesh series last year. Haynes said that Bonner had come on “leaps and bounds” in recent years and that he deserves “an opportunity to play in the 50-over format” and stressed his desire for competition for places ahead of the 2023 World Cup in India.
“We want to have competition for places,” he said. “We want to reach a stage where we have a lot of players fighting for positions. We want to broaden the pool of players we have to choose from. The team we have selected is a very good side and we are looking at this tour as part of the preparations for the World Cup in India in 2023.”
While the India tour also comprises three T20s, which will be played in Kolkata on February 16, 18 and 20, Haynes’ panel has opted to wait for the England series to finish before picking the squad.
West Indies ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (captain), Fabian Allen, Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr
England players deserve medals, not criticism after getting through Ashes series
Speaking in Barbados, where he is standing in for Chris Silverwood as head coach during England’s T20I series against West Indies, and on the island where he became England’s first ever World Cup-winning captain, Collingwood spoke explicitly on the realities of life in the bubble, and fears that the long-term impact of the pandemic on cricketers may be severely damaging.
“I don’t think people have understood the impact and the effects that these bubbles have had,” Collingwood said. “Going to the Ashes off the back of a tough bubble in Dubai, I think was literally one step too far.
“You can’t even explain what it’s like until you experience it. The simple fact is you cannot walk out of your front door and as soon as you’re told that you cannot do something as simple as going for a coffee, and you are penned in with the same guys. A lot of people will say ‘that must be fun’ and ‘you’ve got a lovely hotel’ [but] it hits you.
The England players underwent strict quarantine on the Gold Coast, and managed only two full days of match practice going into the first Test in Brisbane. Rory Burns’ golden duck set the tone for a dismal series as England were bowled out for 147 on the first day and went on to lose 4-0, hanging on for a draw in Sydney while nine wickets down.
Despite England’s hammering, Collingwood stressed that England were facing an impossible task. “I reckon if you had given us the best England cricketers in the Ashes from the last 100 years and put them in the same environment that those boys have lived in over the past two years with the preparation that we had going into this Ashes even they wouldn’t have had a chance,” he said.
Collingwood was part of the England squad that won the 2010-11 Ashes down under and understands precisely the physical and mental levels required to compete in Australia. He retired from international cricket after that winter and since then, England have failed to win a Test match in Australia, across 15 attempts.
Collingwood was part of a group alongside Silverwood, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, Woakes and Mark Wood that spent six weeks in a bubble in the UAE, before flying to Australia for their quarantine period on the Gold Coast and insisted that the lack of meaningful preparation only compounded the situation.
And while he admitted that England made mistakes at the toss and in selection, he said that players should be praised for the efforts they had made in getting through the series in a strict environment, suggesting that Cricket Australia should have agreed to a compromise rather than packing five Tests into a short window during the pandemic.
“You are burnt out from the start after your team has been in the intense environment of a World Cup,” he said. “It wasn’t club cricket that these players were coming from. Then there’s just two days of preparation before going into the Ashes. Australia is the hardest place to go to when you’ve got your best team in form and everyone’s playing consistently. We’ve seen that from the past.
“Yes, we made mistakes, 100%. We made selection mistakes, we made toss mistakes, but the fact we actually turned up and agreed to a five-match Ashes series, the guys should be given medals for that. It would’ve been much better if we’d done two matches and then three next year. That would’ve been a great compromise.
“But no, Australia were not bothered that they were going to receive an England team who were mentally fatigued, they just wanted to get the product out there. They just wanted the Ashes. These guys deserve medals, not criticism. They should be told ‘well done’ for even going. It’s the equivalent of the England football team being asked to go to a World Cup, then from that bubble into the Euros. Would you expect a performance from that scenario? It’s ludicrous.”
Ahead of another hectic schedule for England in 2022, which includes tours to West Indies, Netherlands, Pakistan and Australia, as well as a jam-packed home summer and another T20 World Cup in October, Collingwood hopes that at least in England, they can operate without bubbles, but fears that the damage may already have been done – not just for England players but also for cricketers around the world.
“I almost think it is too late to get these messages across,” he said. “These sorts of things should have been brought out in the middle of last summer. We saw the signs then when boys were fading, and it is not healthy for the game. This isn’t just us. We have obviously played the most amount of cricket, but it will catch up with other teams as well.”
Aadam Patel is a freelance sports reporter who has written for BBC Sport, the Daily Mail, ESPNcricinfo, the Cricketer and other publications @aadamp9
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