Security issues, uncertainty surrounding the tour and players refusing to travel will all take a back-seat on Friday as Bangladesh begin their quest of their seventh consecutive ODI series win at home when they take on England in the first match in Mirpur's Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. The day-nighter gets underway at 2:30pm.
The Tigers' success graph has continued to rise ever since they defeated England to reach the 2015 World Cup quarter-finals.
Since then, head coach Chandika Hathurusingha and his troop have maintained their brilliant form at home, emerging as the new Asian powerhouse.
The recently-concluded Afghanistan series also worked out well for the Tigers as they returned to the ODI arena after a 10-month break. Through the Afghanistan ODIs, the Bangladesh cricketers made up for their lack of match preparation and got the opportunity to rectify their mistakes.
And against the visiting England side, the five pillars of Bangladesh - Tamim Iqbal, Shakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Mashrafe bin Mortaza - will once again have to guide the side while young guns like Sabbir Rahman and Taskin Ahmed must bring out their best performance.
[caption id="attachment_20501" align="alignnone" width="866"]
Bangladesh's Mahmudullah walks out of the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National stadium after training DHAKA TRIBUNE
Imrul Kayes is likely to replace the struggling Soumya Sarkar after the former smashed a scintillating hundred in the practice match in Fatullah on Tuesday.
However, Al Amin Hossain, who recently made a comeback to the national side after missing the Afghanistan series, and Nasir Hossain have slim chances of making it into the playing XI.
On the other hand, it’s not the same England side who exited the 2015 World Cup down under, courtesy Bangladesh's 15-run win in Adelaide. They have played some exciting cricket in the last year or so and are now more than a handful for any opposition, especially in the limited-over formats.
England will miss their regular ODI skipper Eoin Morgan and opening batsman Alex Hales, who were instrumental behind their recent success, but makeshift captain Jos Buttler definitely has momentum on his side after an impressive run lately.
The wicketkeeper-batsman though has his hands full this time around as he will not only have to marshal the batting department but also guide his charges in challenging sub-continental conditions.
Jason Roy has been in terrific touch with the bat and will lead the new-look attacking English opening line-up where he may have James Vince or Ben Duckett as his partner.
Moeen Ali will play the role of Shakib for England and his experience of playing in Bangladesh before will certainly help his side to get the proper knowledge of pitch and conditions.
According to sources, the pitch is expected to be a sporting one and will offer runs. However, there will be some assistance for the spinners.
The only bad news is the weather as forecasts suggest there is a possibility of rain on Friday.
Bangladesh win percentage:
England win percentage:
Tamim Iqbal (265) and Andrew Strauss (610)
Tamim Iqbal (125) and Andrew Strauss (154)
Abdur Razzak (12) and Andrew Flintoff (12)
Rubel Hossain (4/53) and Paul Collingwood (6/31)
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Bangladesh will be expecting to put up a good show against England in the three-match ODI series, starting from Friday. The role of the senior players will be crucial for the home side. Keeping that in mind, the Tigers' leading run-scorer across all formats, Tamim Iqbal, will play a major role in the opening spot. The left-hander has been in terrific form, having been adjudged player of the series against Afghanistan where he smashed his seventh ODI hundred and ended up as the leading run-scorer. Without a doubt Tamim will eye to continue his brilliant run and give his side a flying start to their innings.
The visiting England side will bank on their experienced cricketer Moeen Ali as the all-rounder will be hoping to make an impact against the Tigers, both with bat and ball. The English think tank will look to utilise the left-hander, who started his career as an opening batsman but now plays at the lower middle-order. The 29-year old off spinner is also expected to lead the spin bowling department also comprising Adil Rashid and a few others.
Leave a Comment