Two most improved teams seek winning start - England v Bangladesh - Match Preview
Group A: England v Bangladesh, The Oval
1st June, 10:30 local | 09:30 GMT
The Champions Trophy 2017 will get underway on Thursday with hosts England taking on Bangladesh at Kennington Oval. A win here for either team will help them gain early momentum, which is vital in the shortened format while a defeat will mean that they will be needing wins against New Zealand and Australia - the other two teams in the group - with a better net-run-rate to have any chances of making to the semi-final.
The last time these two teams met in an ICC tournament was in the 2015 World Cup where Bangladesh riding on a century from Mahmudullah and a four-wicket haul from Rubel Hossain helped them complete a 15-run victory and more importantly, they qualified to the next round over England. The defeat did more good to England than bad as Eoin Morgan's men made a complete switch over and adopted the aggressive brand of cricket that saw them register maximum victories in the 50-over format since then.
Bangladesh will enter the tournament as the sixth ranked team and have registered 16 wins from 28 matches with a W/L ratio of 1.6 since the 2015 World Cup - a number greater than what was achieved by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The squad contains as many as seven players from the XI that defeated England in Bristol in July 2010 and another strong performance on Thursday will only add to their confidence.
Head to Head Record:
Clearly, England have the upper hand having won 15 out of the 19 games played between the two teams but since 2010, Bangladesh have clearly shown improvement, winning four out of the 11 encounters.
The two teams met in Champions Trophy only on one occasion previously that came way back in 2000 in preliminary quarter final in Nairobi which saw England register a comfortable eight wicket win chasing 233 runs.
Ben Stokes - His recent fitness concern has put England in a spot of bother but skipper Eoin Morgan insisted that the Durham all-rounder can make into the XI with just his batting prowess. His recent century against South Africa in Southampton and his performances in the Indian Premier League where he was named the Most Valuable Player clearly shows the impact he has on the team.
Tamim Iqbal - He has been Bangladesh's most consistent performer in the recent past. His average has been on the rise in the last one year especially and has been a vital cog in the side's success in the 50-over format. Bangladesh have won most of their games when he had registered scores of over 50 and the visitors will be hoping for their veteran batsman to come good on Thursday.
Jonny Bairstow's heroics at Lord's might not be enough for him to earn a place in the XI as England are likely to stick with Jason Roy. The possibility of Stokes playing as a batsman might affect team combination and will leave them with a bowler short.
1. Jason Roy 2. Alex Hales 3. Joe Root 4. Eoin Morgan (captain) 5. Ben Stokes 6. Jos Buttler (wk) 7. Moeen Ali 8. Chris Woakes 9. Liam Plunkett 10. Adil Rashid 11 Mark Wood
Despite, an improved pace attack, either Rubel Hossain or Taskin Ahmed is likely to make way for Mehedi Hasan.
1. Tamim Iqbal 2. Imrul Kayes 3. Sabbir Rahman 4. Musfiqur Rahim (wk) 5. Mahmudullah 6. Shakib Al Hasan 7. Mosaddek Hossain 8. Mehedi Hasan 9. Mashrafe Mortaza (captain) 10. Mustafizur Rahman 11. Rubel Hossain / Taskin Ahmed.
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