England need thumping win to emerge from gloom

Mumbai: A thumping win against Bangladesh in their penultimate match will do England a world of good as they look to emerge from the gloom surrounding their World Cup campaign, cast primarily through injuries.

England have already lost arguably their best batsman and bowler in Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad through hernia and side strain respectively, badly denting their hopes of winning the showpiece event for the first time.

They drafted in Eoin Morgan and Chris Tremlett to replace the two key players but time will prove how effective the duo will be filling big shoes for England.

Irish-born Morgan has been a vital cog in the England middle-order batting but he was forced to pull out of the original squad with a broken finger during the ODI series defeat in Australia earlier this year.

He was back on Wednesday, fresh and ready to fire again.

"Personally I don`t feel that undercooked or underprepared. I feel very fresh and over the next couple of days my preparation will be similar to how it has been in the past and I feel ready," Morgan told reporters.

But Morgan`s inclusion still leaves England with the problem of having to find an opening partner for captain Andrew Strauss -- a role earlier played by Pietersen.

Tremlett, who replaced Broad, will be in line to play in Friday`s clash, provided his inclusion is approved by the International Cricket Council.

England`s journey, which had stuttered badly with a shock defeat by associates Ireland, was brought back on track through a confidence-boosting six-run win against a strong South African side.

Defending a meagre 171-run total, England came up with a spirited bowling display to skittle their opponents for 165 runs and snatch a spectacular win on Sunday.

With five points from four matches, England will welcome struggling Bangladesh as their opponents in Friday`s Group B match.

Victory over the co-hosts -- and a defeat on the same day for Ireland by West Indies -- will secure England their last eight berth.

Co-hosts Bangladesh face an early exit from the tournament following a humiliating loss against West Indies during which they folded for just 58 runs -- their lowest ODI score ever.

The nature of the capitulation saw frustrated fans venting their ire right across the country which has increased the pressure on skipper Shakib Al Hasan`s boys.

The Bangladesh players will need to put that loss out of their heads if they are to entertain any thoughts of pulling off an upset.

"We are now more united as a team. We had a poor day in the field which we don`t want to remember any more and want to look forward," said batsman Junaid Siddique, confirming the belief that the only way forward is not to look back.

Bureau Report