Chris Tremlett: Smart bowling can help England at World Cup
England got their World Cup campaign off to a great start with a dominant six-wicket victory over the West Indies as they bowled out their opponents for 55.
Spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali impressed on Saturday but they have done for the last few years.
Rashid is such an underrated bowler outside of England, it’s amazing how he hasn’t gone for bigger contracts in the Indian Premier League.
His two wickets for just four runs showed that he can cause real damage at the top of the bowling, especially on the sticky wickets we are seeing in Oman and the United Arab Emirates.
Slow bowling tactics and understanding the pitches throughout this World Cup will be what wins games.
The West Indies didn’t seem to catch on to one of the boundaries being longer at the weekend, and small things like that make a difference.
Confidence is key
At major tournaments, it’s important to get off to a winning start, especially away from home.
England have been known to start slowly, especially in Test matches, but the one-day side has been a successful unit for four or five years now and seem to be able to perform well in foreign conditions.
For the team’s confidence, if you win the first couple of games you feel like you’re going in the right direction – though you cannot get complacent.
If you lose the opening games you have your backs to the wall. It is important to get off to a good start.
I don’t think Eoin Morgan and his team would have dwelt on the past and that loss in the final against the Windies in 2016.
They’d have wanted to put in a strong performance regardless but it will be good in terms of confidence for the squad.
The West Indies are a very hit and miss team, they have some good batters and can be unstoppable when they get into a rhythm.
It’s a good start for England to beat the world champions and the confidence gained will be key.
Batting not an issue
I’m happy captain Morgan finished his short appearance at the crease not out.
This team gets over things quite well. Every player wants to be in form but the best players try to forget about those things and just perform.
These guys would have liked to knock off those 55 runs in five or six overs but you can’t just go and throw your hands through the ball on these wickets.
England won’t be panicking over their batting yet. We know what Liam Livingstone and Jonny Bairstow can do – it only takes one knock in T20 to find that form.
Morgan is a perfect example of that, he can have five or six ducks in a row, which he’s done before, and then go on to score a brilliant hundred.
That’s what I expect Morgan to do. He seems to turn it on in these big tournaments. He’s honest enough to say he will drop himself but hopefully it doesn’t come to that.
England next play on Wednesday against Bangladesh. In theory they are an easier team to beat for Morgan’s men but the conditions could play a crucial part.
These sub-continental style wickets could lend themself to Bangladesh’s spin play.
England’s weakness can often be spin, it has been in the past, so that will be a test.
It’s not going to be a walkover but if Morgan can win the toss and his side take some early wickets, Bangladesh could start to crumble and England can capitalise.