England will bid to get swiftly back to winning ways against Bangladesh today and whether they make any changes to their team will depend very much on the pitch they will play on.

In the past, Cardiff has generally been a wicket that would more naturally favour Bangladesh than England.

It tends to be a bit slower and turns a bit more.

I’m sure, with this in mind, that England will have done their best to prioritise getting the best, hardest pitch they can. They will have been on the groundsman’s case to produce something of that nature – a batting-friendly pitch, that has some bounce.

The last thing they will want is something without pace, where the ball grips, where it’s hard to score straight down the ground, where it’s more of a square-scoring pitch.

England are of course a versatile team who can still be effective in those conditions. But a slower surface might temper their very best qualities and bring Bangladesh more into the game.

The hosts will be favourites to pick up their second victory of the World Cup today but let us be clear about one thing: today’s opposition are nobody’s fools.

Bangladesh are not the pushovers of years ago. They are very shrewd customers.

This was demonstrated clearly in their excellent victory against South Africa, while they gave a fancied New Zealand side a real test on Wednesday.

Their senior players, especially Shakib Al Hasan, have played around the world for many years. He is a class act, while their line-up is full of wily characters.

Bangladesh have come a long way since their early days trying to mix it with the world’s best. The way they have fought their way forward makes them a side to be respected.

They have had to prevail over some facilities that have not been the best standard, until they invested more and more to improve things. Their cricketing nature is one that scraps and fights for everything.

After receiving so many hammerings over many years, they have learned the hard way – and learned how to win. They know their strengths.

Their head coach, Steve Rhodes, of course knows England and English conditions extremely well, too. He is a good man and a good leader.

In the likes of Tamim Iqbal, they have some devastating players. There is a bit of pace in their attack these days, too.

They have been around the block individually and as a team. They have played in IPLs. So World Cups don’t scare these guys.

If we produce an English pitch, as I say, we should have just too much firepower for them. Here’s hoping that proves the case.

It is still early days as regards the tournament in general, but there are certain signs to look out for when considering how it is going to go.

At first glance the Australian seam attack looked good. If they can restrict people with their height, bounce and pace, that can take a little bit of a pressure off their batters.

I don’t see many teams getting 340-350 against them over the tournament. That makes them an obvious contender and an obvious threat.

We have only had the one glimpse of India so far – they face the Aussies tomorrow after beating South Africa on Wednesday – and they will be an obvious danger. They won’t be fazed by their own, regularly big sense of expectation.

Then there is New Zealand – always dark horses, always there or thereabouts.

I actually think the Kiwis’ batting is in a better place than it has been for quite a long time. They have played in so many big tournaments around the world and gathered some invaluable experience, too.

They also have some devastating hitters, like England, and a wily spinner.

Their seam attack can take wickets up front. Matt Henry can do damage left, right and centre, and has crucial English experience from his spells in county cricket. He can get good players out.

Trent Boult is also a high-class bowler and as a unit they can take early wickets and hurt people. They are also a good fielding outfit and I would confidently predict they will be right in the mix.

There has been a place for experience in this tournament so far, too, with Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik featuring against England having previously played in the 2007 World Cup.

In the 12 years since he has been playing in tournaments around the world. Certainly, he knows his way around this scene.

That 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean was my own unforgettable experience of this tournament and another crucial factor for all the contenders this year is how they manage themselves over a long period.

It is something the public won’t necessarily see, but with the travelling, and the duties outside the game, such as media work, it can often feel like it is flying by. There is always something going on.

At the same time, players and teams have to remember it is still a long stretch, and making sure your head is in the right place is all-important.

Knowing when to take your head out of the madness and give yourself some space – some down time – is crucial.