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Bangladesh battle must win for England at ICC World Cup

| 08.03.2015

England are feeling the pressure after a hugely disappointing World Cup campaign so far. Only a solitary victory against Scotland has provided any cheer for players, punters and supporters alike following heavy defeats to Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

Coach Peter Moores is under real pressure as his methods are questioned and criticised. One positive that England can look to is the form of Joe Root.

The Yorkshire star has taken to the pressure of the World Cup like a duck to water and has looked like the batsman willing to show any kind of resistance in recent matches. Root scored 46 in the disastrous match against New Zealand, which showed his mental strength when wickets were tumbling all around him and continued with a glorious 121 against Sri Lanka during yet another embarrassing defeat.

Root recorded this ton in impressive fashion, working his way to 50 then accelerating rapidly towards 100 and beyond with inventive and powerful shots working in harmony. He features in an enhanced 5/1 special wincast to be best batsman again and England beat Bangladesh. Please note, there is a maximum stake of £20 on this bet.

Due to the manner of the defeats inflicted upon England there have been calls from the media for changes to be made. One man in particular to suffer is Ian Bell.

Although Bell is an undeniably classy batsman, England’s leading ODI run scorer has struggled for form and, even worse, has taken up valuable time at the crease having, faced a staggering 113 dot balls in four innings.

Alex Hales is the obvious candidate to replace Bell and open the batting. Hales is currently ranked as the third best T20 batsman in the world, and can join Moeen Ali as an aggressive opener to provide much needed pace to the innings.

Nottinghamshire and England teammate Stuart Broad has backed Hales to succeed if called up to the team, saying: “He’s a dangerous player. He’s a player who can change momentums of games.”

If Hales is recalled, he is 7/2 to reward the selectors and top score for England.

However, it is not just the batsmen who are struggling. Senior bowlers James Anderson and Broad have been unusually poor, and only taken just four wickets at the cost of 92 runs apiece.

Former England captain turned pundit Mike Atherton has called for the introduction of Chris Jordan and James Tredwell to the bowling line-up.

Tredwell will bring some variation on a seam heavy attack, and will allow Ali to provide a back-up role, so he can concentrate on batting. Jordan, meanwhile, not only strengthens the bowling, but can add to the batting order as well, although he will need to overcome his unfortunate habit of wide deliveries.

Coral have Tredwell and Jordan at 7/2 and 4/1 respectively to be best England bowlers.

However, Bangladesh will not just roll over. They are no longer the minnows they were and have some truly talented cricketers such as Shakib Al-Hasan who is touted as the best all rounder in world cricket at the moment.

England will have to put the pressure to one side and rely on captain Eoin Morgan to steer them to victory, or risk falling at the first hurdle. Coral make them odds-on 1/3 to emerge victorious at Adelaide and continue their quest for World Cup glory.



Peter Kelly