Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Bangladesh v England T20 preview: Can England do the double over Bangladesh?

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England continue their white-ball tour of Bangladesh with three T20 games between Thursday and Tuesday after claiming a 2-1 win in the ODI series.

Whilst Jos Buttler’s side will start the series as favourites, their most recent ODI loss to the spirited hosts proves how tricky performing on the typically drier Asian pitches can be, and the T20 World Champions should guard against complacency over the next five days.

We preview the first of the games below.

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Bangladesh v England – Thursday 09:00

This will be England’s first T20 game since winning the World Cup in Australia in November, and they can look forward to the addition of Ben Duckett, after his spell in the test side, as well as Chris Jordan to add some firepower in the ranks. The visitors will still however be without Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Alex Hales and Liam Livingstone – a lack of middle-order resource that saw Sam Curran come in at five in their final ODI game on Monday.

England will start Thursday’s encounter as comfortable 2/5 favourites, but certainly seem to be lacking their usual batting depth that saw them over the line throughout the tight chases of the T20 World Cup. There are only four ‘pure’ batsmen in the squad (if you are to discredit the batting ability of Will Jacks and Moeen Ali) and, as we saw in the ODI series, failing to construct meaningful partnerships on the gritty Asian pitches can hinder even low run chases.

Captain Jos Buttler predictably leads the top England run scorer market at 9/4, with Dawid Malan, who scored a match-winning century in the second ODI last week, next in the betting at 7/2. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid took full advantage of the turning pitches in the ODI matches to win player of the series, and looks nicely valued at 4/1 to take the most scalps for the visitors on Thursday, with Jofra Archer (3/1) leading the market.

Bangladesh proved they are no pushovers with Monday’s 50-run win, but they are commonly regarded as more of an ODI side than a force in T20Is, which they’ve struggled to impose themselves on in recent years. Shakib Al-Hasan showed that on his day he can be one of the most well-rounded white-ball contributors in the world, whilst Mustafizur Rahman also made the most of some lively decks with his lovely left-arm seam bowling.

The hosts start as 2/1 underdogs for Thursday’s clash but will be encouraged by the nature of England’s batting collapse in the final ODI, not least that the visitors’ tail will likely be larger than usual. Expect Bangladesh to bat first if they win the toss and try to make use of the difficult batting conditions in the retrospective chase.

The aforementioned Mustafizur Rahman and Shakib Al-Hasan lead the top bowler markets for the hosts, both at 10/3, with Shakib also the outright favourite to amass the most runs at 3/1. One would presume Bangladesh will need their captain to be firing if they are to record their first ever T20I victory over England.

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