Ban vs England, 1st Test: Hosts look to avenge ODI series defeat
Bangladesh cricket has been on a high over past 18 months specially in the One-Day International (ODI) format at home.
Series victories against South Africa, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India would have given them a sense of belonging in the 50-over format arena.
England, who had an outstanding Test, ODI and Twenty20 International (T20I) series versus Pakistan would have been well oiled and all geared up to take on their Bangladeshi tiger’s in their own den.
England came to Bangladesh amidst a lot of skepticism doing the rounds after security concerns were raised.
With a lot of changes in the side and experimentation to be exercised, England took on hosts in what was one of the most thrilling ODI series in recent memory.
Bangladesh will now take on the might of England in a 2-Test series which will be the real test of their character and skills.
England once again will be led by Alastair Cook and see the return of stalwarts like Joe Root, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood, which makes the visitors a formidable opponent.
Bangladesh on the other hand, last played their Test against South Africa in 2015, which is a testimony to how good a side they are in that format.
Not to underestimate Bangladesh with their platter of left-arm spinners, they make for a dangerous attack on homegrown pitches.
The home side will be skippered by Mushfiqur Rahim, who has been their most famed and popular batsmen in the recent past.
Mushfiqur, who is going through a rough patch in his batting, will look to lead his side from the front. With Tamim Iqbal as his deputy he has a strong supporting hand by his side.
Shakib Al Hasan, who remains to be the most experienced player in the side, will be expected to inspire a team full of youngsters.
The Bangladesh bowling attack has as many as 4-spinners in Shakib, Shuvagata Hom, Taijul Islam and Mehedi Hasan.
The fast bowling department looks as thin as ever with only Shafiul Islam and Kamrul Islam Rabbi to provide assistance, reports Cricket Country.
England on the other hand, have one of most settled batting line-ups doing the rounds in international cricket.
Cook is all set to become England’s most Test capped player and also looks ready to smash a few records on the tour.
Root who was rested for the ODI series makes a come-back and will eye good practice time in the middle and pile on a few runs along the way.
Gary Ballance who has been irregular with his form has again been given a chance to prove himself on international stage.
Buttler, who has been on a batting high making runs by the loot in the ODI, will look to continue his form in the longer format.
Jonny Bairstow who struggled with the bat in the ODI will want to get back to scoring, as he forms a vital cog of England’s batting in the lower middle order.
England’s bowling attacks looks much more heavy as compared to its ODI squad with the inclusion of Broad as well. Broad has on shifted focus to playing just the longer format of the game.
England’s newest recruit Jake Ball has been the find of the summer for them and will be hoping of some outstanding bowling as witnessed in ODIs.
Ball in his ODI debut picked a 5-for against Bangladesh, so he will be well aware of the challenges of bowling in those conditions.
England’s spinning duties will be handled by Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Gareth Batty. Batty is making a return into the Test arena after a gap of 12 long years.
Batty was cantered by Brian Lara in his last outing and will be hoping not to rekindle the same bowling form.
Moeen with his batting and bowling has been crucial in getting England out of trouble in many matches only to be found underappreciated by many.
Rashid will hope he continues his wicket taking form from the ODI series and into the Tests.
Bangladesh’s batting unit is inexperienced but has oodles of talent in it. Tamim has been their most successful opener in the ODI and will want to provide his team with a steady and settled start.
Imrul Kayes has looked promising in the ODI series and will want to stamp his authority here as well. Sabbir Rahman has an average of 30.20 in ODI which is not extraordinary but is not bad either for a player who has played just 26 games.
Rahman will hope to show his batting prowess once in the middle on his debut. Skipper Mushfiqur will have to lead the batting unit if Bangladesh have any chance of beating the visitors.
Both England and Bangladesh have a truck load of new comers in the side, who will be eager to display their skills to the world.
For England, Zafar Ansari, Haseeb Hameed and Ben Duckett will want to take the international stage by storm.
Duckett with his show in the ODI series is a front-runner to make his Test debut, while Ansari and Hameed will have to wait.
Bangladesh on the other hand, will hand cap to Rabbi who in all likelihood will be the second pace-man in the side.
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (c & wk), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Mahmudullah, Mehedi Hasan, Mominul Haque, Nurul Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Shafiul Islam, Shakib Al Hasan, Shuvagata Hom, Soumya Sarkar and Taijul Islam.
England: Alastair Cook (c), Moeen Ali, Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Gareth Batty, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Duckett, Steven Finn, Haseeb Hameed, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes.