Ian Bell: England passed the first test with flying colours
02 Jun 2017
6 minute read
A case of job done for England. After a threatening start from Bangladesh, where I must admit, I was slightly worried for a while, the boys dug in and ultimately their batting prowess took them over the line.
Tamim Iqbal continued his impressive run against us with a class knock, but ultimately it was Alex Hales and Joe Root's partnership, and skipper Eoin Morgan’s flurry, that settled the nerves and put on a fantastic show for the sell-out Oval crowd.
"Rooty once again showed what a stunning player he is and with him in your side, you'll always have a chance."
It's great to see Halesy in such good form and although it doesn't really matter, I was gutted for him to fall just short of his century, as he really deserved it. Hopefully he can carry on his impressive form through the tournament though.
And at the other end, Rooty once again showed what a stunning player he is and with him in your side, you'll always have a chance. I wouldn't look too far elsewhere for the top scorer of the tournament. He kept the scoreboard ticking along and some of his shots were pure class.
Fortunately he has come out and said it was just a bit of cramp in his calf, so fingers crossed. I thought Morgs added real pace to the batting when he came in and he played some fantastic shots. It just shows what kind of batting attack this England side has in it. And we didn’t even get to see Ben Stokes!
I know a lot of people will criticise Jason Roy after his early dismissal and question his place in the team, but I was really happy to see Eoin Morgan back his man the again after the match, and I'm confident it'll contribute to an upturn in form sooner rather than later.
I've been there, things aren't going for you and there's pressure on your place in the team, but having the public backing of the captain is worth its weight in gold.
Jason has been one of the stars of this England team in the last couple of years, and time and time again laid the foundations for the rest of the team to build upon. I'm sure, given the chance, we'll see him back to his best before the tournament is out.
"The main area of concern for me is Chris Woakes’ injury. Losing a player like him would be massive for England"
The main area of concern for me is Chris Woakes’ injury. Losing a player like him would be massive for England and I just hope it’s a minor thing and he’ll be fine for the next match. Knowing Woaksey like I do, he’ll do absolutely everything to get out on the field for the next match, so I wouldn't be surprised to see him play through the pain barrier if necessary. That said, a side strain can be awful for a bowler, so I imagine the backroom team will be monitoring that very carefully.
I was pleased to see Liam Plunkett in the wickets, and not only that, economical too. His last couple of overs really kept the Bangladesh score down and, in fact, they’ll be kicking themselves they didn’t hit more there when they had a real opportunity of adding another 20 or 30 runs and making it a really tight encounter.
Overall, I think everyone would agree it was a good start and a case of job done. As I said before, if England is really going to be a challenger for the title, it will need to win this trouble-free and it has passed the first test with flying colours.
Now it’s onto Cardiff and New Zealand, where it’ll have an even tougher test. But again, I really believe we have what it takes to win that as well.