Cricket World Cup: Tinkering won’t help England in vital outing

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There can be little argument that, regardless of their finishing position, this has been a dismal World Cup campaign for England. Whether they progress beyond Pool A or take a long flight home after the first round, positives are few and far between.

Lessons must be learnt from their shoddy existence so far and chief among them is the need to have a settled side.

Rumours abound prior to England’s crucial clash with Bangladesh in Adelaide that, once again, England will tinker with their batting personnel.

Already Gary Ballance has been called on to replace Ravi Bopara but, as quickly as the Yorkshireman was thrust into the team, he’s in danger of losing his place too.

Alex Hales could be the latest man to try and nail down the batting spot that Jonathan Trott has left so poisoned at number three, but all the while James Taylor, who had recent success there, bats at five.

This has been a head-scratching tournament as far as Eoin Morgan’s side are concerned, with the refusal to bat people in their natural positions and a stubborn rigidity to their batting strategy causing their downfall on numerous occasions.

There are issues with the ball too. Plans are not concrete and as a result field-placings are becoming exposed. Chris Jordan and James Tredwell remain rooted to the sidelines; although it’s believed the former will face Bangladesh in Steven Finn’s place, despite a nagging lack of results from the bowlers used thus far.

In a way it would be a blessing in disguise for Bangladesh to win this match, at odds of 11/4 with Ladbrokes, and end a nightmare for Morgan and co (England must win both remaining group matches to qualify).

At least then it will allow the Irishman to sit, think and really plan how to take this ODI side forward, rather than doing in on the hoof.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.