Thursday, February 22, 2024

‘It’s a massive game’

A close win like England’s over South Africa only a few days ago is hard to let go off, even though another crucial game is only a couple of days away. You tend to go on and on about the game and how the twists and turns took place and how the winning team actually crossed the finish line.
Stuart Broad’s match-winning performance and the manner in which England fought back twice in the game on Sunday will be remembered for a long time, and though it wasn’t as much an adda as we like to call it, the tall paceman had to field questions mainly on what happened in Chennai rather than what happened to him after the game or what might happen in Chittagong in the coming days.
The 24-year-old suffered a strain on his left side during the 6-run win over the Proteas, potentially a blow to his prospects of playing against the Tigers and also delaying the press conference by an hour as he had to undergo scans in the port city.
But Broad remained upbeat on England’s prospects against the Tigers, despite being the most enigmatic team in the tournament.
“It’s a massive game for England. After a disappointing performance against Ireland, we came back strongly against South Africa. It’s important that we click with both bat and ball in this game. Our aim is to get a bit of a run going, get some momentum in this World Cup and that starts on Friday,” said Broad.
“Obviously we know that Bangladesh are going to come out hard against us after their disappointing result against West Indies. It is always a difficult side to beat on their home turf. I’m sure the atmosphere will also be fantastic,” he added.
Bangladesh have only defeated England once in 14 one-day games but never in their home conditions and though the visitors would have a lot of factors to deal with, Broad was confident of their chances.
“We have played a bit against him (Tamim Iqbal), this time last year in Bangladesh and again in England. He’s a very talented player. He looks to get off to an explosive start, but we have some high quality bowlers in our line-up who’d look to get their basics right against him and create pressure that way,” said the Nottingham-born paceman.
“We know what the Chittagong wicket would do. I remember it is quite good for batting, Craig Kieswetter got a fantastic hundred here last year. We look at all their batsmen closely, they are a dangerous team.
“Series-wise we have had the better of them last year but they beat us in Bristol. We know the dangers of the Bangladesh team and we know we have to put in a strong performance,” said Broad.
After missing the Ashes victory in Australia because of a torn abdominal muscle, Broad would have hoped of better days in the World Cup but until the South Africa game, difficulty remained by his side. Now, even after his 4-15 against South Africa, it seems a lot more can go wrong though he remained positive of his immediate future in the tournament.
Broad was also happy with the arrival of Eoin Morgan (in Chittagong yesterday afternoon), someone the team rates as its best one-day batsman and though they have lost Kevin Pietersen due to his hernia operation, Broad said that England are keen to have the innovative left-hander in its midst.
“Obviously Kevin going home is a blow to the team. I think a huge positive is that Eoin Morgan is on his way out,” he said. “He’s been our best ODI batsman for the past year. He’s won us quite a number of games. The whole squad is excited that he’s joining us.”


Courtesy of The Daily Star

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