Bangladesh v England preview: Woakes wants world champions to lay down marker in T20Is

By Sports Desk March 08, 2023

England could be forgiven for lacking in motivation ahead of their T20I series with Bangladesh, but Chris Woakes sees it as a chance for them to "lay down a marker" following their World Cup triumph.

Matthew Mott's team won the 50-over series in Bangladesh 2-1, with that format receiving the greatest emphasis with England set to defend the Cricket World Cup in India in October.

England won the T20 World Cup last year but will not have to defend that title until June next year, making a three-match series over the shortest format perhaps seem a tad insignificant.

That feeling is furthered by the absence of Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Alex Hales and Liam Livingstone from the squad.

For Woakes, though, there is no lack of desire.

"It's a great opportunity for us to hopefully lay down a marker again as world champions," said Woakes ahead of Thursday's opener in Chattogram.

"We haven't played a series since we won that World Cup so it's a challenge for us in these conditions, but it's exciting to play here against obviously a very good Bangladesh side.

"It does feel a little bit strange, we're obviously playing a format that isn't overly necessary right now.

"Nonetheless, you're playing for England and you want to win, so we're looking forward to the next three games."

Bangladesh have lost seven of their last nine men's T20 internationals, those two wins coming against Zimbabwe and the Netherlands at the World Cup.

New coach Chandika Hathurusingha was impressed by his side's performance in the ODIs and is excited to see whether his squad can rise to the challenge against the world champions.

"I am very open to see what we can do," Hathurusingha said. "I expect players to do the same thing that got them selected.

"So go and show in the international level against the world champions, for them to understand where they are at, and for us to understand whether we are better than them in our conditions or they are better than us.

"It is a good opportunity for us to see our skill set in T20s."
 

Jordan closing on century

Chris Jordan has been drafted into the squad and has the chance to make history.

He is England's leading wicket-taker in T20 cricket with 95 and by taking five more would become the sixth male player to take 100 wickets in the format.

Jordan would also become the third England player, male or female, to achieve the feat, following Katherine Sciver-Brunt and Anya Shrubsole.

A Litton bit more

Wicketkeeper Litton Das will be one of the players Bangladesh look to for batting firepower.

Since the beginning of 2022, he has a batting strike rate of 140.6 from 360 balls faced in T20Is, the highest of any Bangladesh player in the format in that time to have faced at least 10 balls.

They will likely need him to produce more of that kind of form if they are to threaten to upset the odds.

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