The ODI world champion England team led by Jos Buttler reached Dhaka earlier this week to face Bangladesh in a 3-match each ODI and T20I series. The squad, which is full of stars, is looking forward to gaining a comprehensive victory over Bangladesh, like it has in the past. The three lions are continuously gearing up their strengths by practising in the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, the home of cricket in Bangladesh.
But the Bangladesh team, under newly appointed coach Chandika Hathurusingha, is looking to win a series over England for the first time, as Bangladesh has yet to win any series over England in any format of cricket. The newly appointed Chandika Hathurusingha will also want to make his second debut as head coach of the Bangladesh cricket team as a mark of his arrival.
Heat of the dressing room
Though Bangladesh is going to stand in front of England on the battlefield with a full squad, the team is having a tough time in their dressing room. The recent statement of Nazmul Hasan Papon, the President of Bangladesh Cricket Board gave so much tensions to the fans, as, according to him, There’s a huge clash between two frontline veteran, Tamim and Shakib in Bangladesh cricket team.
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For which reason, they are even not talking to each other, and the BCB boss was not seeing any solutions to this problem. However, when the issue became a hot topic for the entire media, the BCB president stated that he didn’t notice anything in the dressing room and that everything he said in the Tamim-Shakib case was cast from the media itself, which became a source of criticism against Papon.
But the tension regarding Hathurusingha’s return to the national team as coach becomes another point to be added here. According to several sources, Hathurusingha had bad relations with senior players of the Bangladesh team in his last term. A recent interview published in Cricbuzz also revealed the challenge waiting for the head coach of the Bangladesh team on the field, Hathurusingha. Papon said there, “If a senior doesn’t perform, Hathurusingha won’t keep him on the team.” So, there prevails significant tensions regarding the future fate of senior players in the team, specially for Mushfiq and Mahmudullah.
A wait to confront another thrill
“Goes for hero – bowled him! Full and straight, and the Bangladeshi Tigers have knocked out the English Lions from the World Cup!” the historic line in the Bangladeshi cricket atmosphere, which will remain fresh for hundreds of years whenever Bangladesh goes back and remembers its old days. A day filled with emotions, tears in the eyes of millions, and tears of joy. And that too against England, one of the best cricket teams in the world.
In addition, Bangladesh won another massive match with England in 2011, thanks to tailender Shafiul Islam’s brilliant batting at the end. But these two wins and some more in the bilateral series don’t give much pleasure to the fans. Bangladesh and England played a total of four bilateral series, but England wrote their name on the winning side each time, whereas Bangladesh did not even have one.
Along the history, this is the second time when Bangladesh is going to fight the series as a favourite, thanks to the massive change of the atmosphere of dressing room from the era of 2015.
Bangladesh fought bravely under the captaincy of Mashrafee Mortaza in 2015 against England but fell a little bit short of winning the series, as England secured the victory by a score of 2-1.
Bangladesh have played a total of seven series at home against different countries, including cricket giants like India, Pakistan, Australia, South Africa, etc., and won all of them. It is now time for England to face the wrath of Bangladesh’s young guns, as well as the wisdom of veterans.
ODI World Super League into play
Despite suffering five defeats in their last six games, England has already qualified for the next World Cup, sitting third in the Super League standings. On the other hand, Bangladesh, with their dominance in the ODI circuit, also made their way forward to the World Cup as another qualified team. Bangladesh is now the sixth-ranked team in the Super League with 12 victories in 18 matches. But the Tigers are far from guaranteed to ensure an automatic qualification for next world cup. A series win against England will get Bangladesh a long way into that goal.
How are the squads looking?
England is going to miss some key players like Alex Hales, Sam Billings, and Liam Dawson. But the inclusion of players like Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Sam Curran, Mark Wood, and Jofra Archer, along with their captain, Jos Buttler, will be a tough test for the tigers on the field.
If the captain Tamim Iqbal-led Bangladesh team wants to make their dream happen and defeat England in this series, then a team game should be played in the field. Young players and veterans should put their full abilities on the field together.
So far, Bangladesh has a full-strength squad with Tamim, Shakib, Mushfiq, and Riyad. Players like Litton, Mustafiz, Taskin, and Shanto are also ready to show their calibre once again on the field. The country is waiting eagerly to see how Tawhid Hridoy will perform in his welcome series in the Bangladesh national cricket team.
England, the last frontier for Bangladesh
Bangladesh has won at least a series in all formats of cricket with all of the test-playing countries, but this has never happened in the case of England. As a result, England is the only unbeaten team remaining.
There was a time when people around Bangladesh went on the streets to praise the team whenever Bangladesh won a match with any other country in the world. Now, the tide has shifted, and Bangladesh has racked up victories over nearly all of the world’s major cricketing nations.
Despite all of these gains, there is still a headline in the media for Bangladesh as “England-the only team left.”
Bangladesh has won several individual matches against England, the most thrilling of which occurred during the ICC big events. As a result, Bangladeshi cricket fans’ hopes for a series victory over England are gradually growing.
1st ODI, March 1, Wednesday, live from 12:00 pm, SBNCS, Dhaka
2nd ODI, March 3, Friday, live from 12:00 pm, SBNCS, Dhaka
3rd ODI, March 6, Monday, live from 12:00 pm, ZACS, Chattogram
1st T20I, March 9, Thursday, live from 3:00 pm, ZACS, Chattogram
2nd T20I, March 12, Sunday, live from 3:00 pm, SBNCS, Dhaka
3rd T20I, March 14, Tuesday, live from 3:00 pm, SBNCS, Dhaka