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7th Match, Dharamsala, October 10, 2023, ICC Cricket World Cup
(48.2/50 ov, T:365) 227

England won by 137 runs

Player Of The Match
140 (107)
Cricinfo's MVP
166.01 ptsImpact List

Chastened England need to make a noise, but Bangladesh can be loud too

The Dharamsala outfield has dominated talk in the build-up, but the teams have to get past it once they get down to business

Andrew Miller
Andrew Miller

Big picture - Familiar nemesis awaits faltering England

Six matches down, 42 to come… it's too soon to form any broad judgements about the destiny of the 2023 World Cup. However, as England's chastened cricketers head for the tournament's highest peak in Dharamsala, they do so with clear reason to doubt their readiness to scale the heights that they conquered so memorably on home soil four years ago.
It's not that Jos Buttler's men cannot bounce back from that unfathomably vast drubbing against New Zealand in Ahmedabad. Resilience has been an under-appreciated feature of the champion team that they have built up over the past eight years - perhaps never better demonstrated than in their backs-to-the-wall escape from the group stage in 2019.
And so, when Buttler exhorts his men to be "braver" in their play against the ever-dangerous Bangladesh on Tuesday, there's no reason yet to think that they cannot and will not raise their game - much as they did after a troublingly meek loss to Ireland en route last year's T20 World Cup win in Australia, or indeed when New Zealand delivered them a similarly emphatic smackdown in their opening ODI in Cardiff in September.
The wider concern for England is that such wake-up calls should be necessary at all. Their opening display betrayed an understandable degree of rustiness, given the condensed nature of their tournament build-up, but moreover a lack of clarity across their XI. Once it had become clear that England's batting had failed to fulfil its side of the bargain - and ESPNcricinfo's ball-by-ball data showed that the most attacking line-up in ODI history had attacked a mere 17% of its deliveries across their flatlining innings - the bowlers (World Cup winners one and all) broadly panicked, jettisoning any pretence that they could defend a sub-par total of 282, and instead imploding in a rash of attacking desperation.
At which point, enter a familiar World Cup nemesis. Bangladesh can hardly claim the foothills of the Himalayas as "home" conditions, but their perfunctory dispatching of Afghanistan at this same venue on Saturday was a satisfactory means of establishing their own credentials as one of the five Asian sides competing in this tournament. And, as if England won't already be wary, their World Cup memories from Chittagong in 2011 and, famously, Adelaide in 2015 - two previous occasions when Bangladesh bested their confused campaigners - ought to have put their game-brains on red alert.
There could be up to four survivors on each side from that 2015 encounter, the ground zero of England's rebuild towards their glorious redemption four years later. For Bangladesh, Mahmudullah's brilliant hundred set the team on their way, in league with Mushfiqur Rahim's 89 from 77, while Taskin Ahmed's priceless extraction of Buttler all but sealed the deal, after Shakib Al Hasan's typically wily ten overs had becalmed an already safety-first run-chase. For England, Moeen Ali, Joe Root and Chris Woakes complete the role of veterans, all of whom will doubtless have their own takeaways from a deeply ignominious occasion.
There is, however, a more recent World Cup contest that England might prefer to fall back on - from Cardiff in 2019, when England faced Bangladesh off the back of a damaging loss to Pakistan in their second league-stage game. Then, they scarcely blinked in slamming along to a 106-run win, thanks in particular to the now-absent Jason Roy, whose brilliant 153 epitomised the run-towards-the-danger approach that Eoin Morgan then, and Buttler now, believe is England's best means of attaining glory. However, with nine wins and 11 losses in their last 15 months of ODI action, England no longer seem quite so sure of what to do with themselves once they have charged into that burning building.
Ostensibly, the conditions in Dharamsala ought to favour a reversion to English type. The combination of tight dimensions and high altitude should invite England's heavy artillery to unleash their full might - and they certainly stood on no ceremony in a carefree warm-up against Bangladesh in Guwahati last week, when they romped through a rain-reduced run-chase with 77 balls left unused.
And yet, as Shakib and Mehidy Hasan Miraz showed in sharing six wickets between them against Afghanistan, Bangladesh's spinners have already made themselves at home on this ground, while the sand-based outfield that drew such a scathing critique from Jonathan Trott, Afghanistan's head coach, offers a further potential impediment to England's hopes of all-out aggression.
"You want to dive through a row of houses to save a run," as Buttler himself put it, while warning his fielders to guard against injury in the outfield. "That's obviously not ideal, the way the surface is."
It's not the only thing about England's campaign that has not, so far, been ideal. As Bangladesh have shown on this stage before, they are a taxing team to put away when your mind is not fully in the moment.

Form guide

Bangladesh WLLWL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
England LWWWW

In the spotlight - Liam Livingstone and Mehidy Hasan Miraz

In the continued absence of Ben Stokes, and with Moeen likely to make way for an additional seamer, the spotlight falls more squarely on Liam Livingstone as the all-round pivot of this England team. His canny legspin/offspin offerings provide a point of difference that sets him apart, but with so much attention on England's batting right now, that is the facet of his game in which he needs to step up.
Despite a superb 95 not out to turn the recent home series against New Zealand, Livingstone's overall batting form has underwhelmed for some months now. In his final three matches of the English summer, he managed one six and three fours from a total of 96 deliveries. Then in the tournament opener in Ahmedabad last week, he was culpable in England's downfall after holing out meekly for 20 from 22 balls. The impression Livingstone has repeatedly given is of a man too eager to blaze the ball out of the park, and not sufficiently focussed on holding his shape and channelling his undoubted power. Not unlike the England team as a whole, you might say.
Talking of spin-bowling allrounders, Mehidy Hasan Miraz's display against Afghanistan was everything his side could possibly have hoped for. In his primary role, he cleaned up with 3 for 25, including a deliciously dipping offbreak to Hashmatullah Shahidi that lured him into a loose hack to mid-on, and opened Afghanistan up for a collapse of 8 for 42 in 13 overs.
Then, after being sent out to bat at No. 3 after the early run-out of Tanzid Hasan, Mehidy anchored an unruffled chase with 57 from 73 balls, following swiftly on from his century against the same opponents in last month's Asia Cup. His composure as a batter is no secret to anyone who witnessed his series-seizing heroics against India in Mirpur last year, including a century from No. 8, while no fewer than six of England's squad will remember him from his Test debut as a teenager in 2016, when his 12-wicket haul in Mirpur sealed another famous win. It just goes to show, Bangladesh possess a wealth of players with the skill and experience to seize any given day.

Team news - Stokes out as England ponder extra seamer

Stokes seems a near-certain absentee for the second match running, having struggled with a hip flexor injury since his arrival in India. Reece Topley is in line for his first outing of the tournament, potentially as a replacement for Moeen in a reinforcement of England's seam-bowling stocks, although a further rotation of their quicks isn't out of the question after an underwhelming showing against New Zealand.
England (possible): 1 Jonny Bairstow, 2 Dawid Malan, 3 Joe Root, 4 Harry Brook, 5 Jos Buttler (capt & wk), 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Mark Wood, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Reece Topley.
There's little reason for Bangladesh to change a winning team, although offspinner Mahedi Hasan was looking lively in the nets on match eve, and could come into consideration ahead of Mahmudullah - the hero of that 2015 takedown - who bowled a solitary over against Afghanistan and did not bat.
Bangladesh (possible): 1 Tanzid Hasan, 2 Litton Das, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 5 Towhid Hridoy, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 8 Mahmudullah/Mahedi Hasan, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Mustafizur Rahman

Pitch and conditions

The weather is cooler than it had been in Ahmedabad, although not significantly. A fresh pitch has been prepared for this second fixture, two strips across from the surface that proved tough for run-scoring in the Afghanistan vs Bangladesh game, and seam bowlers have previously thrived here, from Tim Bresnan in 2013 to Suranga Lakmal four years later. It's the outfield, however, that has been the focus of the pre-match build-up, with the sand-based surface causing Mujeeb Ur Rahman to jar his knee awkwardly while sliding to intercept a Shakib boundary. The heavy nature of the surface could reduce the reward for ground strokes too.

Stats and trivia

  • England and Bangladesh have met at each of the past four World Cups, and honours so far are even. England won their first meeting, in Barbados in 2007, and their most recent in Cardiff four years ago, either side of Bangladesh glory in 2011 and 2015.
  • Overall, the rivalry is more one-sided, with 19 England wins to Bangladesh's five. However, since the first of those five, in Bristol in July 2010, the ledger has been more balanced, with England limited to seven wins from their last 12.
  • Dharamsala has hosted five completed ODIs in the past ten years. Four of those have been won, very comfortably, by the team batting second… including by England in their only previous visit in 2013, when an Ian Bell century guided them to a consolation seven-wicket win in a 3-2 series loss.
  • Jonny Bairstow will be playing in his 100th ODI, the first century of caps that he will have reached across formats. He has also played 95 Tests and 70 T20Is.
  • Najmul Hossain Shanto needs 33 runs to reach 1000 in ODIs.
  • Quotes

    "I think it's poor, in my own opinion. I think any time you're talking about being careful diving, or maybe being careful when you're fielding, it goes against everything you want to be as a team."
    Jos Buttler is unimpressed with the state of the outfield in Dharamsala
    "We didn't expect such a wicket in Dharamsala, but we found there was turn in our first two or three overs. The ball stopped a bit."
    Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Bangladesh's match-winning spinner against Afghanistan, admits the amount of turn in that contest had taken the team by surprise.

    Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket

    Win Probability
    ENG 100%
    100%50%100%ENG InningsBAN Innings

    Over 49 • BAN 227/10

    Taskin Ahmed b Curran 15 (25b 0x4 1x6 35m) SR: 60
    England won by 137 runs
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