London: England and Bangladesh will look for a return to form from their top-order batsmen when they launch the Champions Trophy at the Oval on Thursday.
On Monday, across London at Lord’s, England collapsed to 20 for six in five overs — the worst start in one-day international history — against the South Africa new-ball duo of Kagiso Rabada and Wayne Parnell.
“It certainly was a wake-up call in the fact that you need to be able to adapt in different circumstances,” England captain Eoin Morgan told reporters at the Oval on Wednesday.
Even in June, early morning cloud cover that aids swing is often a key part of English cricket conditions.
At Lord’s, a green-tinged pitch did not find favour with Morgan but even on more placid surfaces the issue of how best to bat under grey skies, which can often set in all day in England, remains.
England were already an unbeatable 2-0 up in the three-match series against South Africa and although Morgan was glad the reverse had come before the Champions Trophy rather than during the tournament, it remains a worry.
Bangladesh highlighted the issue of under-performing openers in dramatic style by collapsing to 84 all out in reply to Champions Trophy title-holders India’s 324 for seven in their final warm-up match at the Oval on Tuesday.
Defeat by 240 runs was certainly not what they wanted.
“You know, 84 obviously doesn’t look good,” said Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza.
“You have to think what the mistake was, so I think we can handle tomorrow especially.”