Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has promised the hosts of ICC World Cup 2019 another test of spin when both the teams meet in Cardiff on Saturday. Mortaza was referring to England’s second match against Pakistan where Sarfaraz Ahmed had started the bowling with Shadab Khan and the move clicked, eventually resulting in England’s first defeat of the tournament.
England’s rise to the top of the chart of ODI rankings has been majorly influenced by the dominance of their top-order batsmen Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy. But, their run-flow in the top has been checked so far in the World Cup as they could not add many for the first wicket, neither against South Africa nor against Pakistan.
However, given the conditions of Cardiff, it might be the day for the fast bowlers as in the game between Sri Lanka and New Zealand it was a joy for the Kiwi quicks as they rattled the Sri Lankans, while the same happened during the Sri Lanka-Afghanistan game with Nuwan Pradeep hurling across the Afghan batting. So, England will likely to recall Liam Plunkett at the expense of Adil Rashi. But, Bangladesh, it is believed, will be sticking t0 their tried-and-tested formula of playing an extra spinner. Thus, it will be a triple-faced spinning attack from the Tigers in the form of Shakib Al Hasan, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mosaddek Hossain.
“Our spinners all over the world have played a big role, it is one of our biggest strengths,” Mortaza told reporters on Friday. He continued, “We know that Shakib is one of the biggest strengths for us. Miraz has been doing well for a long time. I mean, the last two years, he’s doing so well for us with the new ball. South Africa started with these tactics. So most of the teams will be taking them as well.”
In the last two editions of ICC World Cup in 2011 and 2015, Bangladesh got better of the Three Lions. But, fast forwarding to 2019, the Eoin Morgan-led side is a whole different unit now and boasts the tagline of this year’s prime favourite. While England lost to Pakistan in their last match, Mortaza knows his side is facing the toughest opponent of the tournament, on Saturday.
“This is one of the best teams England have ever produced, especially in the World Cup,” the Bangladesh skipper said. “I think still they are in the right way winning matches, and they are in good touch. “We have been beating them in the last two World Cups. That doesn’t mean that we will make it happen again the way it did”, he added.
(With inputs from PTI)