Liam Plunkett could return to the England side for Saturday Is match against Bangladesh, as they look to bounce back from their 14-run loss to Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
With the playing area in Cardiff characterised by short straight and long square boundaries, England look set to recall Plunkett; possibly in place of a spinner. Adil Rashid endured a modest game in Nottingham - he conceded 43 from five overs - and seeing as he is still nursing a long-standing shoulder injury, he could be the one to miss out.
Plunkett missed the defeat at the hands of Pakistan as England brought in the extra pace of Mark Wood against an opponent that had looked uncomfortable against the short ball in their previous game against West Indies. But Plunkett’s ability to bowl back-of-a-length cutters may prove especially valuable given the proportions of the Cardiff ground, with England understood to be contemplating an attack that includes five seamers and Moeen Ali as the only frontline spinner.
That would not only represent something of a diversion from regular tactics but potentially present some challenges in maintaining the requisite over-rate. England escaped after taking an extra 19 minutes to get through their overs in Nottingham because of various dispensations allowed by the umpires. But if they only bowl 10 overs of spin on Saturday, it may prove difficult to bowl all 50 overs within the three-and-a-half hour allowance.
England reacted to Monday’s defeat by giving the squad a couple of days off. Most players took the opportunity to spend some time with their families and remove themselves from an environment that has started to look just a little tense. There were moments in that Pakistan game when it appeared the burden of shouldering a nation’s hopes for the revival of the sport were starting to weigh heavily.
There was a time, not so long ago, when players might have attempted to relive the stress with a big night out. But in the wake of the Bristol incident, those days appear to be gone and England have to find different, and probably more healthy ways, of dealing with the stress."Maybe there were a few nerves at Trent Bridge," Plunkett admitted. "It is obviously disappointing. We were not at our best and we let ourselves down in the field. We have had a couple of days off. Hopefully we can start again fresh."
But while Plunkett admitted Pakistan - their players and supporters - had been "pretty good" at getting under the skin of England in that match, he insisted his team-mates should be experienced enough not to allow it to ruin their own performances.
"Pakistan are pretty good like that," he said. "They can get niggly. When they’re on top they’re good at doing that. Similarly Bangladesh and India are good at doing that. They are good at appealing quite a lot. It’s just the way they play their cricket.
"But we’ve played in big competitions. We’ve played around the world - in the IPL and the Big Bash in front of big crowds - so it shouldn’t be too much for the players. It’s just about getting involved in the game, taking out the crowd and the other team to just try and do your job."While Bangladesh have only beaten England once in an ODI in England (or Wales), there can be no excuse for any complacency ahead of this match. Monday’s defeat against Pakistan has left England with little margin for error in the fight for a semi-final berth - especially as they face a tough final three group matches against Australia, India and New Zealand - while of the last eight ODIs between the sides, each team has won four.
Bangladesh memorably knocked England out of the World Cup - well, gave them the final push over the precipice, anyway - in 2015 and also won the preceding World Cup match between the sides, in Chattogram in 2011.
"We saw Bangladesh beat South Africa and it wasn’t a shock defeat," Plunkett said. "I remember when they beat England way back when and it was a shock defeat. But there are no real shock defeats in this competition. They’re a strong squad."
England did not originally have plans to train on Thursday. But with rain expected to ruin any prospect of training outdoors on Friday, they instead attempted to have a full session on Thursday though that, too, was abbreviated by rain. Joe Root missed training to attend a family funeral.