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We're getting better too: Bangla captain

We're getting better too: Bangla captain

The four really strong squads are England, defending champions India and perennial competitors Australia and South Africa, former Australia captain Ian Chappell told Cricinfo.

Despite the abysmal form of both Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the previous year or so the fierce rivalries between teams in this group should see each side up their game.

For long they were considered to be so far behind the pace-race in terms of ODI cricket, it was nearly like the rest of the world had gone to the Moon and back while the English were still figuring their way out with getting their rocket airborne.

After winning two warm-up games against New Zealand and Bangladesh, the Indian team, who have retained several players from the victorious 2013 side, is high on confidence and will be looking to continue their form throughout the tournament. But when you are playing in England, it's important the top four get going and one of them should go on to score a big one and be there till the end.

That was Test cricket, however, and this is white-ball cricket, where he has rarely been troubled over a sustained period. Hales too was impressive with a typically belligerent 95 and Morgan continued his fine form with a rapid 75 off just 61 balls.

This is how Bangladesh is expected to line up as they attempt to spoil the party for the English crowd in the Champions Trophy opener on Thursday.

Pakistan will look forward to better head-to-head record against arch-rivals. He has already registered his intent in England with a splendid century against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy warm-up game.

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"That was a long time back ... and England are a totally different team", he said of his team's latest success against this summer's hosts in a global tournament. "It is a highly charged match". In a tournament that looks set to be dominated by the bat the teams which can take wickets at crucial times will have a huge advantage. With AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla in the side, one can not rule them out from reaching the knock-out stages.

However, if they are to better their rankings, the foremost question Bangladesh would need to address urgently is: can they win the clutch moments?

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza added: "In the middle patches we couldn't get any wickets and Root and Morgan took the game away from us". However, their batting line-up could prove to be a weakness for Pakistan. Dhawan has played only two ODIs in the last 15 months, scoring 1 and 11.

When coupled with less than ideal fielding displays it's not hard to see why this team have struggled to convert talent into results.

"He'll definitely play", Morgan said.

The humiliating 240-run loss against India seemed to be a pointer of things to come as the Bangladeshi batsmen failed to cope up with the Indian fast bowlers.

The madness toward the game had started to build but instead of just being happy with the tag of good hosts, they needed to establish their claim as a team, they needed their own stars and thus their own market to flourish.


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