Bangladesh vs England: Tour preview

Bangladesh vs England: Tour preview

England begin the first of their winter tours on Friday in Mirpur when they face Bangladesh

Tom Hiscott

After plenty of conversation over both player and staff safety, England are in Bangladesh and ready to kick-start their winter.

Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales each took the decision to make themselves unavailable for selection, but the players who are in Asia have a tough job on their hands to return with a series victory.

First up is the ODI series, which encapsulates a pair of fixtures in Mirpur, followed by the potential decider in Chittagong over the space of six days, before a Test match at each of the same venues.

Buttler to lead ODI team in toughest half of tour

England's continued rise in white ball cricket has been clear for all to see, yet they are still far from the completed article. 

Ranked fifth by the ICC in 50-over cricket, England will face a Bangladesh side ranked just two places lower, and who have won their previous five series on home soil. 

A recent 2-1 series win over a rapidly-improving Afghanistan side shows of their form going into the England series, and in 2015 they claimed home series wins over South Africa, India, Pakistan and Zimbabwe proving just how tough this three-match tilt will be for Trevor Bayliss' men. 

Although he struggled for runs during the summer, Eoin Morgan is a huge part of this England ODI side, and every member of the squad will admit he has been the driving-force, alongside Bayliss, in creating a culture which has allowed them to flourish since the 2015 World Cup

Jos Buttler in action during the warm-up victory (image source: Gareth Copley / Staff - Getty Images)

His decision not to tour means that vice-captain Jos Buttler will skipper the side, and the keeper made the perfect start in his new leadership role by hitting an unbeaten 80 to see England home by four wickets in their only warm-up fixture against a BCB Select XI

James Vince looks set to bat alongside Jason Roy at the top of the order in Hales' absence, with Northamptonshire tyro Ben Duckett earmarked to come in at three due to the resting of Joe Root. Duckett took county cricket by storm in 2016, becoming the first player to win both the Player and Young Player of the Year at the recent PCA Awards, as well as smashing a pair of mammoth scores for the England Lions

For Bangladesh, two triumphs over Afghanistan which coincided with big scores for star batsman Tamim Iqbal, show they will be more than competitive. 

A team continuing to get better, they now possess four of five batsmen who are more than capable of taking the attack to England in tough conditions which includes Sabbir Rahman who has an x-factor which saw him accumulate 176 runs in this year's Asia Cup

All-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is among the best at what he does in world cricket, while the return of Taskin Ahmed gives them a death bowler to be feared in what looks to be a close contest. 

19-year-old Hameed set for opening spot during two-match Test series

Hales has well-and-truly nailed down a spot in the ODI team, but the same cannot be said for his position in the Test team after a tough summer. 

The next player to be given an opportunity to form a partnership with Alastair Cook at the top of the order, is young Lancashire opener Haseeb Hameed

The youngster faced more balls (2,934) than any other batsman in four-day cricket during 2016 with his cautious approach catching the eyes of the selectors. The Bolton-born Hameed made a century in both innings of Lancashire's Roses fixture against Yorkshire, and if he does make his debut in Bangladesh, he will become the youngest to represent England since Ben Hollioake in 1997. 

At the other end of the age scale, 38-year-old Gareth Batty is one of four frontline spinners England will be taking to the sub-continent, which includes his Surrey teammate Zafar Ansari

The nucleus of the Test side remains the same, with Cook, Root, Stuart Broad and Ben Stokes all set to take part in the two-match series, but there is no place for Jimmy Anderson who has pulled out with a shoulder injury

The second leg of the tour is being seen as perfect preparation for the India series which will dictate whether the winter has been successful, and comes against a Bangladesh side who have only won one Test series in the last seven years. 

The hosts are definitely a tougher-out in white-ball cricket, yet 0-0 draws with India and South Africa in 2015 prove that winning Test matches won't come easily, and England will have to be at their best to come out on top.