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With Pietersen gone, new openers for England

Published: Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 11:05 [IST]
 
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Chittagong, March 8: After Kevin Pietersen's exit and the subsequent vacancy of an opener's position in the England line-up, coach Andy Flower is considering a few options like Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara and Matt Prior, but will not commit to one. He says different batsmen's style of play suit different conditions and as choice will be made accordingly.

With Pietersen gone, new openers for Eng

"It does not have to be the same man for the rest of the tournament," the coach said. "You need different qualities to open the batting against Bangladesh than you do against Australia. We are going to have to be flexible."

Flower said that it would not serve England's best interests if he divulged his choice for opener of the forthcoming games. "We're not going to let you or the opposition know who it's going to be, but we've got a clear idea of who we want for the game against Bangladesh."

Bell is an accomplished batsman and Bopara scored a man-of-the-match winning 60 against South Africa, but it could be the hard-hitting Prior who opens the innings against Bangladesh.

England, who have five points from four games, need a win against the co-hosts or in their last league match against the West Indies in Chennai on March 17 to enter the knock-out rounds.

The free-stroking Pietersen had prospered as Strauss' opening partner, contributing stands of 105, 68 and 91 in the first three matches.
The only time the duo flopped together was on Sunday against South Africa when left-arm spinner Robin Peterson, given first use of the new ball, dismissed Strauss third ball and Pietersen off the sixth. But England shambolic start did not come back to haunt them even after they ended their innings on a poor 171 all out, as they came back strongly to bowl out the Proteas for 165.

Pietersen has been replaced by former Irish batsman Eion Morgan, who is expected to arrive in the port city later on Tuesday. The 24-year-old left-hander, was in the original 15-man squad before he was withdrawn due to a finger injury and replaced by Bopara.

The pressure on Friday will be squarely on the hosts, who need a win to stay in contention for the quarter-finals. Bangladesh, who crashed to their lowest total of 58 in the last game against the West Indies , have just one victpry from three matches and are languishing in sixth place in the seven-team group.

Oneindia Cricket

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