Positive spin from Strauss

England skipper keeps cards close to chest

Last updated: 10th March 2011   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Positive spin from Strauss

Strauss: new opening partner will be his fourth in last 12 ODIs

We have to play great cricket and they have to slip up a little bit for us to win.

Jamie Siddons
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England are looking to put their recent injury disruptions behind them by taking a major step towards the World Cup quarter-finals with victory over Bangladesh in Chittagong on Friday.

Andrew Strauss' men bounced back in style from their shock defeat to Ireland, bowling out South Africa for 165 to clinch a six-run success last Sunday.

But that win came at a cost, opening batsman Kevin Pietersen (hernia) and seam bowler Stuart Broad (side) both returning home injured.

Eoin Morgan and Chris Tremlett have joined the squad as replacements but England, who are two points behind Group B leaders India after featuring in a succession of thrilling encounters, have several selection decisions to make.

Most pressing is who comes in for Pietersen at the top of the order, one of middle-order quartet Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara and Matt Prior will move up, freeing a spot for Morgan - fully recovered from the finger injury that ruled him out of the original party - to slot back in at number five.

Strauss, however, played a straight bat to questioning about the identity of his new opening partner.

"There is nothing to be gained by us saying at this stage (but) we are very clear in our minds for this game who the best opening batsman will be," he said.

With Bangladesh's strength their spin bowling, the pitch in Chittagong is expected to turn.

That has led to suggestions England intend to include James Tredwell as a third spinner alongside Graeme Swann and Michael Yardy, but Strauss insisted they are keeping an open mind.

"I think you have to pick the right side for the conditions, it's no different to any other pitch," he added.

"We have to make a judgment about how much it is going to turn and how much will be in it for the seamers.

"Past experience here suggests there is a little bit in it for everyone. Seamers and spinner have been equally successful."

Criticism

Tournament co-hosts Bangladesh, meanwhile, have endured a week of criticism from local media and former players after being bowled out for 58 against West Indies.

The Tigers have only one win from three games and another loss would almost certainly end their hopes of progressing to the knockout phase.

"We got back in the nets the day after (defeat to West Indies) and then had a couple of days off to freshen up," Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons told Sky Sports.

"Hopefully their minds are clear and they're ready to play good cricket.

"I think the pressure of the last game was bigger - West Indies were one of the teams we expected to have a chance of beating.

"We have only won once against England (at Bristol last year) in quite a few games and they are obviously far higher ranked than West Indies at the moment.

"We have to play great cricket and they have to slip up a little bit for us to win."

On team selection, he claimed: "We are thinking of leaving one (spinner) out.

"They (England) are probably reading a bit too much into the wicket and dew factor. I doubt they'll play three spinners."

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