England had a forgettable start to their ODI World Cup 2023 campaign as the defending champions suffered a shock nine-wicket defeat against New Zealand in the opening match. That Jos Buttler-led side posted a total of 282/9 in 50 overs, but the Kiwis chased down the target in just 36.2 overs. England, now eye relief, will take on Bangladesh in their next World Cup match on Tuesday. Ahead of the match, England captain Buttler expressed his concerns about Dharamsala’s away side.
Tuesday’s match will be held in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh, whose away ground was rated ‘average’ by the International Cricket Council (ICC), following the match between Afghanistan and Bangladesh on Saturday.
“Yeah, a few I think it’s bad in my own opinion. I think any time you talk about being careful diving or being careful when you’re on the field, it kind of goes against everything you want to be. as a team,” Buttler said during the pre-match press conference.
“You know, you’re going to dive through our houses to save a run. So obviously it’s not ideal the way the surface is, the outfield. But we’re not going to use that as an excuse, we’re adapting to it. But yeah, definitely if you feel like you have to hold yourself back, that’s not where you want to be as a team or a player or in a World Cup game,” he added.
Apart from Buttler, Afghanistan coach Jonathan Trott had expressed his displeasure with the outfield at the Dharamsala Stadium after the six-wicket loss to Bangladesh in their opening match, saying it was pure luck that some of the players did not perceive any trouble while playing.
The loss against New Zealand was an early wake-up call for Buttler, whose team members know the Indian pitches and conditions like the back of their hand, many of them playing in the Indian Premier League.
While England will certainly be the favourites, Bangladesh know how to turn the tables and the defending champions know all too well that they cannot afford another successive defeat.
(With PTI inputs)
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