Bangladesh v England preview: Tamim returns, Buttler sees crucial chance for World Cup preparation

By Sports Desk February 28, 2023

Bangladesh are determined to further prove their top-tier ODI credentials as they welcome world champions England for a three-match series.

England remain the benchmark in limited-overs cricket for many, and they should provide a stern test to a Bangladesh team in hot form.

Bangladesh have won six of their last seven men's bilateral ODI series, including a 2-1 win over India at home in December. The only series loss the Tigers have suffered in that time was against Zimbabwe in August.

Captain Tamim Iqbal is back after missing the series with India, likely replacing Anamul Haque, as Bangladesh go into the series with something approaching their strongest team.

Head coach Chandika Hathurusingha believes that could be a key difference, with England missing the likes of Ben Duckett and Harry Brook due to their participation in the Test series in New Zealand.

"We are playing full strength," Hathurusingha told reporters. "I don't think they have come with their full strength. Some of them are playing Test cricket. I back our skills and strength.

"Saying that, they have incredible strength in the last 10 years or so. England have one of the best pace attacks in the world. They have five fast bowlers and three spinners on this tour.

"The challenge will be to play their fast bowlers in this series. They have developed great depth in English cricket. They are the envy of every Test-playing nation."

That attack could indeed be what gives England the best chance of winning, with fit-again Jofra Archer joined by Saqib Mahmood, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran.

Rehan Ahmed will be another one to watch for the tourists, with the 18-year-old potentially able to take advantage of some spin-friendly surfaces, though the first match in Mirpur on Wednesday could come too soon for him after he missed two days of training due to illness.

England skipper Jos Buttler will use the three games as preparation for the team's World Cup defence in India later this year.

"We only have these matches and then don't play again until September just before the World Cup," Buttler said at a press conference. "All our preparation is geared towards that World Cup and these are the conditions that will probably be the closest that we can get to playing in India.

"This is exactly the kind of challenge we need. With the World Cup not too far away we can test ourselves against conditions that we as a side find the hardest.

"It's going to be a great measure of where we are as a team."

Shakib closing in on 300

Shakib Al Hasan is six wickets shy of 300 in ODI cricket, bidding to become the first player from Bangladesh to reach that landmark.

With 6,835 runs already, Shakib can also become just the third all-rounder after Sanath Jayasuriya (13,430 runs and 323 wickets) and Shahid Afridi (8,064 runs and 395 wickets) to register 5,000+ runs and 300+ wickets in the format.

Moeen approaches a century

Moeen Ali is just four scalps away from becoming the 14th England cricketer to get to 100 wickets in ODI cricket. In doing so, he (2,154 runs) would become the fourth England player to record 2,000+ runs and 100 wickets in ODIs (after Ian Botham, Andrew Flintoff and Paul Collingwood).

One factor in Moeen's favour is that he was a part of the Comilla Victorians team that won the Bangladesh Premier League final in mid-February, so he is familiar with playing in the country.

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