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Barnard backs England

Ed Barnard has played for England Under-19s for a year and has toured both South Africa and the United Arab Emirates with them

Ed Barnard believes England Under-19s have had the perfect preparation for the age-group World Cup, which starts on Friday.

Barnard et al are currently in the familiar surroundings of Dubai, where they face Scotland today in a warm-up, having recently spent time there in a tri-series versus Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

The tournament hosts are England’s first competitive opponents – in Abu Dhabi on Friday.

“The weeks we had our here before Christmas will, I think, help us have a bit of an edge over a couple of teams,” batsman Barnard told ecb.co.uk.

“It was crucial for us to get used to conditions. It’s a case of getting used to the pitches because, obviously, they are a lot different to the indoor school back home.

“One of the main things we learnt is that it is a little bit low-scoring. We can’t really be aiming for 300-plus scores because I think 220-240 is more competitive out here because of the slower and low pitches.

“Spin obviously plays a key part out here with it being a lot drier and hotter. We have to change our gameplans out here, and we really nailed them down out here previously.

“Having got a few runs out here before, we know we can do it and hopefully we can just do it on a more consistent basis.”

In particular, England are familiar with their first opponents having already seen what is in store.

“It was a good chance to have a look at them; if we had gone in without that, they might have been a surprise package,” added Barnard.

“I think now we have played a few games against them, we are a lot more prepared for the whole World Cup.”

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