England will be fancied to win for the second time in a row in the Super 12 when Eoin Morgan’s side face Bangladesh at the 2021 ICC T20 Men’s World Cup on Wednesday. A six-wicket win over the West Indies gave England a measure of revenge for the 2016 final, but Bangladesh may provide tougher opposition at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. The Tigers lost to Sri Lanka by five wickets last time out, but this squad features plenty of talent, particularly skilled all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan and experienced batter Mushfiqur Rahim.
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In the United States, the match (6 a.m. ET start time) isn’t on TV, but anyone in the US can watch England vs Bangladesh live on ESPN+ right here:
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England vs Bangladesh Preview
It was all about the bowling attack when England skittled the Windies for just 55 on Saturday. The spinners were on form, with Moeen Ali taking a pair of wickets and posting a miserly economy rate of 4.25 across four overs. Ali was good, but Adil Rashid earned most of the headlines. The 33-year-old leg-break specialist bowled four wickets and 12 dots from barely more than two overs, an astonishing output.
Morgan can provide some variety in the attack by turning Tymal Mills loose on the wicket. The capable pacer used his left arm to claim the wickets of Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran against the Windies. England have the arsenal to wreck the Bangladesh innings in double quick time, unless Al Hasan and Rahim can seize control of the middle order. They are both capable of finding the boundary consistently, while captain Mahmudullah is also a useful presence when the order starts to move from the middle toward the end.
Rahim was the man who caught the eye against Sri Lanka by slogging a classy 57 from 37 balls. His total included five fours and two sixes. Those runs combined with the 62 by opener Mohammad Naim to help the Tigers set a steady 171. Naim is a big hitter who can get an innings started in style, but he needs more help from opening partner Liton Das, who managed a mere 16 off 16 in his nation’s last match.
England will be confident about keeping Bangladesh to a manageable total Morgan’s batting contingent can exceed without too much fuss. There’s star power all the way through the order, beginning with Jos Buttler. He’s the man who can plunder an over for all it’s worth, while Liam Livingstone possesses the technical excellence to deliver the unexpected in clutch situations. Neither Buttler nor Livingstone impressed much with the bat on Saturday, with the latter caught out for one by Akeal Hosein, but Morgan will trust them to be better this time.
The skipper also has a decision to make about Dawid Malan. He’s the world’s premier batter in this format, but Malan struggled mightily ahead of the tournament and was left out against the Windies. He’s too good to be overlooked for long, though, so Malan should get his place in the top order back for this match.
Putting a dent in the England order will require Mustafizur Rahman returning to form. He’s an exceptional off-cutter bowler who has struggled with a shoulder problem in recent years. If Rahman can turn the clock back to his best days, the Tigers will have a chance to sneak the upset.
It’s more likely, though, England’s well-rounded lineup records an emphatic win and inches toward progression for the knockout stages.