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T20 World Cup: England's bowling unit has been magnificent so far, says Hussain

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Abu Dhabi, Oct 28 (IANS) Former England captain Nasser Hussain believes that the bowling attack of England has put on a magnificent show in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. He added that skipper Eoin Morgan has got bowlers who have got all bases covered despite the absence of Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Sam Curran. England are sitting on top of Group 1 standings with wins against West Indies and Bangladesh.

“England’s bowling unit has been magnificent so far in this World Cup. OK, Bangladesh are perhaps not the side they used to be but there was no let-up by England on Wednesday. The decision to give Moeen Ali the new ball in the first two games has been a huge success and he has been backed up superbly by Chris Woakes and Tymal Mills,” wrote Hussain in his column for Daily Mail on Thursday.

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“With Adil Rashid employed mainly in the middle overs, Eoin Morgan using Liam Livingstone well as a third spinner – off-spin to left-handers and leg-breaks to right-handers – and the fielding excellent, the captain has every base covered. And two near-perfect bowling performances with what is pretty much a completely new-look Twenty20 attack have been achieved without Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran and, for the moment, Mark Wood,” added Hussain, who is currently in the UAE as a member of the commentary team.

Hussain pointed out that England have been bowling much shorter lengths in the UAE, as compared to the lengths they bowled in the 2016 edition of the men’s T20 World Cup in India. In a graphic posted in the newspaper taken from Sky Sports, England pacers pitched their deliveries in 2016 six metres from the stumps. In the ongoing edition, the seamers are pitching eight metres from the stumps.

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“There has been a definite change in England’s plans over the last few years, and the seamers are generally bowling two metres shorter here than in the last T20 World Cup in India. Mills spoke after England’s win against the West Indies about the need to pitch the ball a little bit shorter on these pitches, and what he and the others are doing is bowling what you’d call a heavy length.”

“It’s not bouncers – it’s just short of a length to hit the splice of the bat, ball after ball, and that’s how Woakes got Shakib Al Hasan out on Wednesday. England might have to adjust those plans when they play their group games against Sri Lanka and South Africa on the smaller ground in Sharjah. But here and in Dubai, with big square boundaries and on pitches that can be a little bit two-paced, it’s a good ploy.”

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Hussain reckons that it will not be easy for pacer Mark Wood, suffering from an ankle niggle, to enter straightaway into the playing eleven. “It will not be easy to leave anyone out for Wood, if he is fit to take on Australia on Saturday, but it will probably come down to Chris Woakes or Chris Jordan.”

“Jordan is central to England’s T20 think-tank so it could well be Woakes, but that would be harsh because he has three dimensions to his game and can bowl that heavy ball, as of course can Wood. Whatever way England go, it will be a difficult decision.”

–IANS

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