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Stuart Dalgleish 4th Mar 2010 - 8:26

Classy Morgan to make it a clean sweep for England

Bangladesh (4/1) have pushed England (1/6) all the way in this ODI series and perhaps their batting performances have deserved something more but the quality of Eoin Morgan should see England take it 3-0.

The left-hander (11/2 top England batsman) is fast becoming England's premier limited overs batsman in my opinion, and it comes as no surprise to see him handed an incremental contract that could well see him involved in the Test scene soon enough.

Kevin Pietersen (7/2) might disagree about who is the top dog, and I don't think there's much doubting that when he's on the top of his game there's not many to touch him in world cricket, let alone the England team, but just at the minute the South African-born star is not quite there (perhaps his mind is on other things with the birth of his first child on the horizon) and could do with a big score to get himself back in the groove with the World Twenty20 looming.

Questions might well be asked should he get dropped from the team and England play poorly, but no one should be irreplaceable and two 50s out of his last 18 innings is not the sort of match winning form that is needed if the Three Lions are to repeat their Champions Trophy performances in the Caribbean.

With stand-in captain Alastair Cook (10/3) finding his form again by scoring back-to-back 50s, certainly to my surprise, and still missing out on a place in the T20 squad it makes it imperative that the senior figures in the side are firing on all cylinders.

Competition is also fierce for the wicketkeeper's position, with Craig Kieswetter (9/2) now eligible to play for England. So far the South African-born player has looked a bit nervous at the crease and is still finding his feet in the international game, so perhaps he will be afforded a little time to settle.

With Matt Prior (10/1) getting two very useful knocks in both of England's run chases in this series, Kieswetter might not have time to settle in and will have to start scoring soon or he could find himself watching from the pavilion should England decide to just play with one specialist wicketkeeper-batsman.

Kieswetter will definitely come good though, so I just hope he isn't discarded like players have been before.

Two players that certainly won't be discarded by Bangladesh are Tamim Iqbal (10/3 top Bangladesh batsman) and Imrul Kayes (9/2), the left-handed pair haven't been afraid to take the game to England and have enjoyed two fruitful partnerships in the two ODIs, not for the first time either as Bangladesh's batting form is in small part due to these two regularly providing solid platforms for the rest of the side to build upon.

Contributions further down the order from the likes of Naeem Islam (14/1) and Mushfiqur Rahim (5/1), who top scored in the last ODI, have given the Tigers belief that they can start to challenge some of the big guns on a more regular basis, they have beaten some of the top sides but not consistently enough for them to climb the rankings and become a force in world cricket.

Their bowling was definitely better in the 2nd ODI though, the slow left-arm pairing of captain Shakib Al Hasan and Abdur Razzak (both 3/1 to take the most wickets for Bangladesh) had England in a spin and if Al Hasan would've used his quota of bowlers more wisely they could well have bowled England out and won the game.

As it was the brilliant stroke play off Morgan saw the Three Lions over the line to make it 14 straight wins against Bangladesh in all forms of the game, and it could end up being 17 by the time the tour is done.

 

 
 
 

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