Sports, Cricket

World champions England look to conquer Bangladesh

Published : 28 Feb 2023 08:32 PM

Long gone is the "little brother vs big brother" equation in Bangladesh-England matches. The 2015 World Cup game brought a bit of edge into the contests, and then came the pushing and shoving between players in the end-of-game beeline during the last bilateral series back in 2016. Since then, this fixture has become a 'proper contest' although the two sides are playing a bilateral series after a seven-year gap.

This is now a battle between the world champions and the team that aspires to be new world champions. Bangladesh have won seven home ODI series in a row after beating India in December.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz single-handedly won them two games but it is the nature of the Bangladesh team these days that they have matchwinners all through the XI.

Tamim Iqbal, who missed the India series through a groin injury, returns to a strong line-up that includes Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah. But these days, Litton Das, Mehidy and Taskin Ahmed are dangerous opponents too.

England will have their hands full, but there's also a lot of respect for this side in Bangladesh. The English players are BPL regulars, and even played plenty of Dhaka Premier League in the past decade. Just like everywhere else in the world, England now have better understanding of conditions, attitudes and cultures, and Bangladesh expects nothing different this time.

They will be without Harry Brook and Ben Duckett - who are in New Zealand with the Test side - but they have Will Jacks, James Vince and Mark Wood among their recalls into the ODI side. Rehan Ahmed seems like an interesting choice too, given how the Dhaka pitches tend to assist spinners.

It promises to be a great contest between the England and the side, like many others around the world, that wants to be the next England.