BAN vs ENG: England having a Defensive game plan


Steven Finn, the England pacer, took stock of the trying conditions in Bangladesh, after sweating it out and bowling 16 overs across the two tour games against the hosts in Chittagong. Finn remained wicketless in both the games but expressed his happiness at getting to run and bowl in humid climes.

“I sort of viewed these two games as an opportunity for me to show what I can do,” Finn said on Sunday (October 16). “I do enjoy bowling in the subcontinent, I enjoy the reverse swing aspect of it, I enjoy the fact that you have to put in to get something out of the wicket.

Besides his own game, Finn also reckoned England will have to revisit their bowling ploys before heading into the first Test at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Thursday (October 20). Finn, who is likely to sit the game out, believes a more defensive approach with the ball will bode well for the visitors. ‘Letting them come onto us’, he felt, would be ideal in the first couple of hours when the temperatures are on the higher side and the new ball isn’t swinging.

“I think we’ll have to readjust our expectations of what the new ball is going to do over here,” he said. “The new ball, with the way there’s no conventional swing, the hardness of the ball seems to make it come onto the bat a little bit better.

“I think the first three hours are the warmest and then it seems to tail off in the afternoon a little bit. Those first two hours were very, very hot. [We will have to see] whether we change our gameplan a little bit and be slightly more defensive and wait for them to come to us.

Finn’s views are perhaps the result of what the English bowlers faced on the first day of the second two-day fixture on Sunday. The pacers were made to toil hard as the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI opener Abdul Mazid scored a stroke-filled 132-ball 106 and Nazmul Hossain Shanto, at No. 3, notched up a half-century.

“We could have been quicker to realise the fact we couldn’t attack so much with the new ball, but I think the way we addressed it, and after that the way we stuck to our plans, was really good. We dried them up and you can cause rash shots through drying their batsmen up.”

The exploits of the spin duo of Zafar Ansari and Gareth Batty ensured the hosts were bowled out for 294. In all likelihood, one of the two will play the first Test as the third spinner alongside Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, thereby pushing Finn to the fringes. The 27-year-old, who has done well in the subcontinent previously, isn’t too perturbed.

“I felt in good rhythm today, I felt in good rhythm in the nets, it’s just about keeping your name out there. I felt rushed a little bit in my first spell but adjusted that to the second spell and felt good today, where it’s just about having a really simple gameplan.”

“I think I’ve got a relatively good record in the subcontinent, so I just wanted to come and put my hand up.”

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