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England wary of Whatmore magic

London: England versus Georgia. England versus Bangladesh. Both smack of mismatches.

Especially when the sports concerned are rugby union and cricket. The English claim to have invented both.

Their awesome rugby team certainly has cause to be confident of a crushing victory in the World Cup opener against their amateur east European opponents in Perth on Sunday.

Cricket captain Michael Vaughan, however, was more cautious in predicting the outcome of his side’s two-Test series as they headed for Dhaka and Chittagong on Tuesday.

“Bangladesh in their last matches have scared a couple of good teams,” Vaughan said. “We have to give them the utmost respect. We have to treat them like anyone else. We’ll play in exactly the same manner.”

In their last four Tests, in Australia and Pakistan and under the scrutiny of new coach Dav Whatmore, Bangladesh have scored a respectable 250-plus in five innings out of eight.

In Pakistan, they actually held a first-innings lead in two Tests out of three. Their last defeat was by a single wicket, caused only by Inzamam-ul Haq’s face-saving century.

A five-day draw against England, let alone a victory, would be a major accomplishment.

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