Cricket World Cup betting preview and tips: England v Bangladesh at Cardiff

England captain Eoin Morgan
England captain Eoin Morgan

Richard Mann previews Saturday's Cricket World Cup clash between England and Bangladesh...

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2pts Bangladesh to have the highest opening partnership at 13/8


Pre-tournament favourites England suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Pakistan at Trent Bridge on Monday, turning in a ragged display in the field that meant subsequent centuries from Joe Root and Jos Buttler were to prove in vain, and Eoin Morgan will be demanding a swift response from his side when they make the trip to Cardiff on Saturday to face Bangladesh.

Following an almost seamless World Cup preparation that saw them brush aside Pakistan 4-0 earlier in the summer, England kicked off the tournament with a ruthless defeat of South Africa to underline their credentials as tournament market leaders.

However, Pakistan breathed life into their World Cup campaign, and the competition in general, with a sparkling display that saw them post 348-8 batting first before going on to win by 14 runs, exposing England's bowling, particularly in the crucial middle overs, and forcing their usually reliable fielding outfit into a host of crucial mistakes.

This isn't necessarily new territory for this England side, they were beaten a couple of times by the West Indies last winter before eventually drawing an absorbing series 2-2 while they prevailed 3-2 against New Zealand the previous winter having lost the first match of that series.

The way England play their white-ball cricket nowadays, all-out attack encouraged by a no-fear mentality, means that the odd bump in the road is to be expected but their consistency over the past couple of years has been most impressive and it is safe to assume we will see a response on Saturday.

Nevertheless, England do have a few issues to address, particularly in the bowling department where the inclusion of the excellent Jofra Archer has provided a much-needed injection of pace and X-factor but has also ensured Morgan now has a few selections headaches to ponder.

Mark Wood made a successful return to the side on Monday, bowling with good pace and control to pick up 2-53 from his ten overs but in playing him alongside Archer and Chris Woakes, there was no room for Liam Plunkett who took 2-37 in the opening match against South Africa and whose middle-overs strikes have seen him become one of England's most valuable performers in the last year or so.

With the Surrey seamer almost certain to return on Saturday, Chris Woakes might find his place in jeopardy given such little impact he has had with the new ball so far but his batting has always been deemed invaluable by the England management and that is even more apparent now given Moeen Ali's struggles with the bat at number seven.

For his part, Ali has certainly been pulling his weight with the ball and he bowled beautifully to pick three big wickets against Pakistan. With fellow spinner Adil Rashid still searching for his best form with the ball, Ali's stock is as high as ever, for all England will be desperate for him to add some runs to his wickets and allow Morgan to field his best three frontline quicks, irrespective of their ability with the bat.

For my money, Woakes has to be the man to miss out on Saturday given how little grass we have seen on the wickets England have played on so far. With Engand's array of power hitters revelling in such flat-batting conditions, I'd be surprised if they were presented with a seamer-friendly surface any time soon and as such, Woakes could find himself surplus to requirements.

Should Woakes indeed miss out, England might consider replacing Adil Rashid with left-arm finger spinner Liam Dawson whose solid batting would provide more security lower down the order.

That said, as we saw in India's defeat of South Africa on Wednesday, wrist-spinners are like gold dust in white-ball cricket and England need Rashid firing for the latter stages of the tournament. He must be persisted with.

Adil Rashid
Adil Rashid

The batting has far less issues with Root, Buttler, Stokes and Morgan all finding form early in the tournament.

However, it has become plainly apparent that many opponents see spin as they way to attack England's much-vaunted top-order paring of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow with Imran Tahir and Shadab Khan reducing England to 1-1 and 12-1 in their opening two matches.

With Bangladesh housing any number of spin bowlers in their experienced attack, many of whom are comfortable taking the new ball, England should expect more of the same and Roy, in particular, will know he needs to find a way to negotiate spin better early in his innings.

Bangladesh's own opening partnership has started the tournament well with the classy Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarker putting on 60 for the first wicket against South Africa and then 45 in Wednesday's narrow loss to New Zealand.

Both were adept at handling the pace of Kagiso Rabada and swing of Trent Boult and England's attack might not find it easy to make an early breakthrough, particularly against Tamim who can already boast two ODI hundreds against Saturday's rivals.

Given England 's own troubles against spin at the top of the order, Bangladesh look worth a bet at 13/8 to have the highest opening partnership in the match.

Bangladesh will be pleased with the cricket they have produced so far, beating South Africa handsomely in their opening match before only going down by two wickets against New Zealand subsequently, and they should continue to pack a punch in the coming weeks.

Their batting has a really solid look to it, left-arm paceman Mustafizur Rahman gives their bowling real bite and in Shakib Al Hasan, they have an all-rounder in their ranks of genuine star quality.

They can certainly make this competitive but as quotes of 2/13 suggest, England's powerhouse middle order should have too many guns for Bangladesh and I'm looking forward to seeing a positive reaction from Morgan's men following that Pakistan defeat.

Preview posted at 1500BST on 06/06/2019

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