Must-win must-win must-win
Im trying to remember the last time an England game wasnt must-win. Despite the obvious (although in practice lacking) rhetoric that the players should want to win every game regardless, England do actually find themselves, yet again, in a game they must-win. But hey, its only Bangladesh. The same Bangladesh who have beaten both India and South Africa in this tournament. England can boast the defeat of no similar team. This match is not a banana skin in the slightest and there is a very real possibility of it deciding Englands fate (rather than prolonging the agony a little bit longer.)
After losses to Sri Lanka and Australia, England must now defeat Bangladesh (today), South Africa (week) and West Indies (2 weeks). South Africas defeat to Bangladesh have opened up a glimmer of hope for England, but the Proteas total destruction of the West Indies yesterday, suggests that it was merely a blip on the radar. The West Indies (who lost their must-win match, and are now cant-win) ought to be a game England could win, so really South Africa are the last team that stand in their way. Assuming England negotiate Bangladesh.
Im not holding my breath about us winning. On the cards, it should be a breeze, but in practice. There is continued uncertainty about Englands batting lineup. There is concern over Flintoffs lack of runs and speculation that he should be moved up the order to give him some quality batting. Equally, Ed Joyce has recently been dropped from the opening spot in favour of Andrew Strauss. But Strauss will bat at 3, with Bell and Vaughan at the top. This makes little sense to me, considering that Strauss has spent most of his England career opening the innings and Kevin Pietersen is our obvious number 3. The problem lies in England having too many security batsmen, i.e., those who, in theory at least, nurdle the ball and solidify an innings while those around him score the runs. In practice, obviously, this hasnt necessarily worked out - very few of Englands men have been consistent - but Bell, Strauss, Vaughan and Joyce are 4 such players. The question exists whether there is space for 3 of them at the top of the innings. I would prefer to see some like Trescothick, such as Mal Loye, opening the innings, with either Bell or Strauss. Sadly, I cant work out where Vaughan fits in the lineup, but since he is selected for his captaincy more than anything else, he has to be put somewhere.
The Barbados wicket ought to suit Englands bowlers (moreso than the slower pitches in Guyana), so bowling first and trying to get through the Bangaldeshis cheaply might be the best plan of action.Tags: cricket, England, World-Cup-2007
POSTED IN: Cricket