England will “shut up a few doubters” if they beat Bangladesh convincingly in their vital World Cup match, says former spinner Graeme Swann.
England, who have lost three of their four Pool A games, cannot reach the quarter-finals if they fail to win in Adelaide on Monday.
“This is their chance to really put their foot on the opposition and stamp all over them,” Swann told BBC Sport.
“If you’re an England fan, this is the biggest game of this World Cup.”
He added: “This is their chance to say, ‘We’re in this, we’re for real, we’ve got a chance of progressing through to the quarter-finals’.”
England have been beaten heavily by Australia, New Zealand and Sri Lanka, with their only victory of the tournament coming against minnows Scotland.
Even if England win their final two games – they face Afghanistan in Sydney on Friday – they will go out if Bangladesh overcome Pool A winners New Zealand earlier that day.
A familiar story
Despite clearing their schedule to play nothing but one-day cricket in the five months before the World Cup, England are once again experiencing a familiar struggle.
England have not won a World Cup knockout match since the tournament was last held in Australia and New Zealand in 1992, and they failed to progress past the first round in 1999 and 2003.
If Eoin Morgan’s side do avoid upsets to Bangladesh and Afghanistan and reach the last eight, they are likely to face defending champions India, whom England beat twice in the run-up to the tournament.
Defeat and elimination would intensify the scrutiny on the whole England set-up, particularly coach Peter Moores, who has been
and ex-captain Michael Vaughan.
“Catastrophic is a good word,” said Boycott. “To lose to Bangladesh would be as low as we could get.”
Moores said: “There is pressure on us because we have not played as well as would have liked to so far.”
If England’s opening three games produced results that were largely expected – defeats by
– then the game
was a good indicator of their chances of progressing far into the tournament.
It turned into the most chastening loss of all, the team with which England were supposedly most well matched chasing a target of 310 for the loss of one wicket with 16 balls to spare.
Since then, England have gone eight days without a game, a period that included three days off.
“They’ve had a bit of time off since their last debacle,” said Swann, who played 60 Tests and 79 one-day internationals for England.
“A few people have gone away from the cricket to relax and clear their heads. Others will have hit balls and got ready for this game. They’ll be in a good place.”
View from the camp
Moores has called for an improvement from his bowlers following their chastening defeat by Sri Lanka.
Opening bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad have managed only two wickets apiece in four matches, at an average of 92 and 91 respectively.
By contrast, New Zealand’s Trent Boult and Tim Southee have taken 26 between them in five games.
Moores told BBC Sport: “We’ve had a tough tournament, had some tough games, but we’re very excited about tomorrow, and we’re not going ahead of that.
“We’ve got to win tomorrow to stay in this tournament and it’s a great opportunity against Bangladesh.”
Boycott said: “We want more people to play well. We’ve only got four or five guys – that’s not enough.”
Still the right Ballance?
Number three Gary Ballance did little to ease the pressure on his place against Sri Lanka, scoring only six to take his total to 36 runs in four innings.
Still, it was the bowling that was most at fault in Wellington, and, with Anderson and Broad unlikely to be left out, off-spinner James Tredwell could come in for pace bowler Steven Finn, who has leaked almost seven runs an over in the tournament.
If Ballance is dropped, Alex Hales would be the natural replacement.
“I think Hales will come into the team for Ballance,” said Swann. “I’d open with Hales and Moeen Ali and I’d have Ian Bell at three, but they seem reticent to move Belly away from the opening spot so we’ll have to wait and see.
“If it was up to me, I’d bring in James Tredwell.”
Moores said: “We’re not going to announce the squad until the toss. The pitch looks good. It is a drop-in pitch so I expect it to be full of runs.”
What about Bangladesh?
Bangladesh sit on five points in the group – three ahead of England – thanks to wins over
and a washout against Australia.
in their most recent World Cup meeting, albeit on home soil in Chittagong in 2011.
“We certainly won’t be underestimating them,” said Moores. “They’ve got some really good batters and some experience at the top of the order.
“We’ve played Bangladesh before and we’re confident if we play to our ability, we’ll win the game.”
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza said: “If we can win this match, it will be a great memory for everyone involved with this team.
“Our boys are looking very confident, especially after chasing 318 in the last match.”
The numbers game
- If England lose or tie or there is no result, they will be eliminated.
- England have the worst economy rate in the first 10 overs in this World Cup: 7.10 runs per over (bowling average 56.80).
- There have been two previous World Cup meetings between these teams:
at Bridgetown in 2007 and Bangladesh won by two wickets at Chittagong in 2011.
- England won the first 12 ODI meetings between these teams, but Bangladesh have won two of the three since then.
- Of the five main venues in Australia, England’s win-loss ratio is the lowest at Adelaide Oval (four wins, 10 losses).
- Shakib Al Hasan needs three wickets to become Bangladesh’s leading World Cup wicket-taker, passing Abdur Razzak’s record of 20. Shakib is also the only Bangladeshi to have scored 500 World Cup runs.