However, Bangladesh’s second spinner, Mehedi Hasan, did not turn the ball at all when running through Scotland’s naive batting in the qualifying round in Oman. Hasan took three wickets, none of them with offbreaks, just balls that hurried straight on and pinned their batsmen LBW or bowled. England will have to look to play Hasan in the same way they used to play India’s Anil Kumble, as a slow seamer, and always playing forward, never taking the risk of being pinned on the back foot.
Otherwise it is not asking too much of Eoin Morgan’s team to deliver another overwhelming win. Bangladesh have beaten Oman and Papua New Guinea, and lost to Scotland and Sri Lanka. They are as dependent as ever on a few stalwarts, like Shakib and their middle-order batsman Mushfiq ur-Rahim, who waddled out in pads that looked too big for him at Lord’s to make his Test debut back in 2005 when only 17.
Jos Buttler was the only batsman in the whole of England’s opening game to pass 13, and saw England through to an un-embarrassing win with his unbeaten 24. He looked seriously short of sleep though, following the birth of his second child.
Both Jonny Bairstow and Liam Livingstone need to present their credentials against spin after being cheaply dismissed by the West Indies’ Hosein. Their physical strength in hitting boundaries is going to be crucial as this competition advances, especially if the pitches become slower. Spinners, not only seamers, have been finding that the ball just back of a length is optimal for containment – and only the batsmen with supreme strength or the fleetest footwork are going to score boundaries. Bairstow and Livingstone have something of the physicality which enabled Afghanistan to hit eleven sixes against Scotland in Sharjah, including the longest hits of this tournament so far.