Sports, Cricket

England ready to take Bangladesh ‘Test’ prior WC in India

Published : 26 Feb 2023 08:41 PM

England are relishing the challenge of facing Bangladesh on their low and slow home wickets in the upcoming one-day international series, captain Jos Buttler said Sunday.

England will defend their ODI World Cup title in neighbouring India later this year and Buttler told reporters he was expecting low and slow wickets and difficult conditions in Bangladesh, “which is what exactly we want.

“This is the conditions that would probably be the closest we can get to play in India,” he said in his first press conference since the team arrived on Thursday.

“That’s the kind of challenge we want as a team to test ourselves in tough conditions.”

The tour will kick off with two ODIs at Dhaka’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on March 1 and 3, before the third and final encounter at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on March 6.

Three Twenty20 internationals will follow, the first in Chittagong on March 9 and the others back in the capital on March 12 and 14.

England, the world champions in both formats, are the only visitors to win an ODI series in Bangladesh since 2015.

Australia and New Zealand have both lost Twenty20 series against Bangladesh in the recent past after they were unable to cope with the hosts’ slow wickets.

But Buttler did not want to count on past successes and emphasised the strength of his current squad.

“That’s long time ago,” Buttler said of England’s win in their last ODI series in the country in 2016 – when Bangladesh also recorded their maiden Test victory against the visitors,

“Bangladesh have a good record at home. We have some very good players in our team. We are excited for the challenge,” he said.

Buttler himself was the top scorer in last year’s Indian Premier League, when he smashed 863 runs for the Rajasthan Royals.

“We have a lot of guys in the last few years exposed to playing in sub-continent conditions,” added.

At least two England players, Dawid Malan and Moeen Ali, played in the Bangladesh Premier League Twenty20 tournament that ended earlier this month, while Buttler, Jason Roy, and Jofra Archer have previously done so. Newly-called up Will Jacks, who will replace injured Tom Abell, was the tournament’s leading scorer in the 2021-22 season.