Bangladesh suffer woeful warm-up for Champions Trophy opener

"We played some fantastic cricket throughout the series with a lot of positives coming out of it, but it was still a gentle reminder that cricket is a amusing old game".

With a powerful batting lineup, including pugnacious openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales, Test captain Joe Root, Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, England usually score their runs rapidly.

India defeated England in the last iteration of the tournament in 2013 in a truncated final that allowed the then captain MS Dhoni to become the only skipper in cricket history to have won all the major ICC trophies. He may not be playing for the Indian cricket team anymore but his wishes and excitement to watch is India play is just the same, if not more.

Pakistan, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka should be competitive, while the rank outsider, Bangladesh, is capable of causing a shock as shown in the 2015 World Cup when it beat England to reach the knockout stage.

Facing the first ball for England at The Oval on Thursday will be Jason Roy, the young blitzkrieg of a batsman who has been a key cog in this side's short-form revolution.

Former India cricketer VVS Laxman today backed the government's decision to not play a bilateral series against Pakistan, saying it is "beyond sport at the moment". The way they are playing, if you look at the last two years, their performance, they win nearly everything.

Mashrafe also admitted that this England team were very exciting and favourites with eleven match-winners in the side.

"Most of all, they are a team that will, with the bat, with the ball and in the field, always take the positive option". He did not touch it, nor did he pose with the trophy like his English counterpart Eoin Morgan, who appeared for the presser after Mashrafe and smilingly posed for photographs. There's a bit of swing and immediately things change and you can see the way the game progresses. However, such is the nature of this tournament, that one defeat and you will be up against it as far as making it to the last four is concerned.

Nevertheless, Azhar said: "Wahab has recovered well so we have no doubt that he will be fit to play". By his own admission, he was nervous ahead of the game against New Zealand. "A lot of the performances that we have put together as a team over the last couple of years have been formidable against some very strong sides, so we're looking forward to it as much as anybody".

Fast bowler Junaid Khan claimed Tuesday that Pakistan's match with arch-rival India is like just any other game for him.

  • Julie Sanders


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