Bangladesh has had a great start to this World Cup. After defeating the struggling South Africans in the first game they ran New Zealand really close in their second in a low scoring thriller. Bangladesh batting is their strength and they can really hurt their opposition on a good pitch. Tamim Iqbal who is their star player hasn’t come into his own yet but Mushfiqur Rahman, Shakib Al Hasan, and Sowmya Sarkar have looked in great touch. Bangladesh has always had a good spin attack but with Munstafizur Rahim and Mohammad Saifuddin, they have a good pace attack as well this time on conducive surfaces. Captain Mashrafe Mortaza who has lost quite a bit of pace in his bowling, has been able to provide the control with the new ball in the first couple of games.
While Bangladesh is a good ODI unit, they aren’t without their faults. Their batting even though dangerous can be incredibly inconsistent and can blow hot or cold. Their bowling attack on flat wickets might struggle due to their pacers lacking pace. Bangladesh will be hoping for some consistency in performances and will be hoping that their batters can provide them with the ideal score against strong opposition.
England like Bangladesh had a great start to their campaign were jolted by an unexpected loss to Pakistan in their second game. England is a really strong team with a great balance. All their batters have been in great form recently and with Eoin Morgan and Joe Root in top four they have the solidity they need to balance their power hitters. Jos Buttler has been in brilliant form as well for England with a hundred against Pakistan in their loss in the second game. England is not without their concerns though. Moeen Ali who is their spin bowling all-rounder along with Adil Rashid has struggled so far with both bat and ball. It will be interesting to see if England will gamble with Liam Dawson as their second spinner. Their pace attack as well has struggled for consistency. While they were brilliant against South Africa, they struggled to keep things under check under pressure against Pakistan. Their ground fielding also crumbled under pressure.
Head to Head:
While England has dominated Bangladesh overall in ODIs, Bangladesh have had upper hand in World Cups. They have a winning 2-1 advantage over England which tells us that bilateral stats doesn’t count for much in a world tournament.
Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh): Shakib is a leading all-rounder in the world. Even though his bowling hasn’t been that consistent so far, his batting has been brilliant for Bangladesh so far. He has two fifties in as many games so far in this World Cup. In a misfiring batting team, Shakib’s consistency will be really important for Bangladesh to put up a good total against a strong England side. Shakib hasn’t done historically well against England with a batting average of 23 and a bowling average of 42 but again he would need to correct that this time if Bangladesh needs to have a chance against the hosts.
Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh): Mustafizur is the leader of the Bangladesh bowling attack. Even though their captain Mashrafe Mortaza is more experienced, Mustafizur is the only world-class pacer Bangladesh have in their XI. Mustafizur has a brilliant ODI record with a career average of 22.83. He has just played once against England and has no wickets against them. Mustafizur needs to step up to the plate if Bangladesh bowlers are to trouble the strong England batting.
Jos Buttler (England): Jos Buttler has been in form for a while now and his hundred against Pakistan almost pulled off an amazing chase after England had lost crucial wickets at the top. He provides the impetus to the batting order at the latter half of the innings and can be incredibly dangerous with the bat. Buttler has a brilliant record against Bangladesh with an average of 52 at an incredible strike rate of 121.
Chris Woakes (England): Even though England have some express pacers in the XI, Chris Woakes with his swing is one of the most important members of the pace attack, Woakes himself can crank it up when in rhythm and has the knack of picking up wickets in limited overs cricket as his 3 fifers prove. Even though he hasn’t been that good with the ball against Bangladesh so far, he averages 46 with the bat.
What they said?
“Maybe there were a few nerves at Trent Bridge,” Plunkett admitted. “It is obviously disappointing. We were not at our best and we let ourselves down in the field. We have had a couple of days off. Hopefully, we can start again fresh.”
“I think they (England) are one of the biggest sides in this tournament. It’s not going to be easy, we knew that,” said Mashrafe Mortaza, “But again, if we can play our best possible cricket, you never know.” he concluded.
Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow (WKT), Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali/Liam Dawson, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett/Mark Wood, Jofra Archer
Tamim Iqbal, Sowmya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mohammad Mithun, Mosaddek Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mashrafe Mortaza, Mustafizur Rahman
Even though Bangladesh is a far improved side and a team who can defeat any opposition on their day, England is firm favorites in this contest. The England side has much better balance and consistency when compared to their opposition but again if Bangladesh batters have a good day anything can happen.