England captain Eoin Morgan has confirmed that Ben Stokes, Jason Roy and Chris Woakes will all begin the hosts' Champions Trophy campaign against Bangladesh at The Oval on Thursday.
Recent momentum halted for both sides
Morgan's side are looking to recover from a seven-wicket defeat in their final warm-up match against South Africa after an upper order batting collapse dented the momentum they established in the previous two matches of the series.
Bowled out for 153 midway through their allotted overs after falling to 20-6, England will take hope from a similar occurrence for Bangladesh on Tuesday. Chasing 325 set by opponents India at The Oval, Bangladesh crashed to 22-6 before concluding on 84 all out.
Tigers not to be ruled out
Despite their lowly total, Bangladesh have plenty of batting potential in their squad. The Tigers hit 342 against Pakistan prior to that collapse against India, with Tamim Iqbal hitting 102 runs off 93 deliveries. Similarly, Mahmudullah smashed a century when Bangladesh defeated England at the World Cup two years ago.
Bangladesh have undoubtedly been one of the most improved nations over recent years and they took the scalps of Ireland and New Zealand in Dublin at the start of May.
Stokes unlikely to bowl allotted overs
Yet England have also made substantial adjustments since being embarrassed at the World Cup and remarkably go into this tournament as favourites on home soil. In Morgan, they have a captain in top form after he racked up a three-figure innings against South Africa. They also boast three Indian Premier League stars in Chris Woakes, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, though the former lacks match practice and the latter is unlikely to bowl his maximum ten overs.
Woakes missed two of the three games against South Africa, though Morgan admitted "Chris Woakes is 100 per cent fit. He's come through the last two or three days really well".
However, Morgan added that Stokes has "a very strange injury. It is in his delivery stride that he feels the pain". Although Stokes is unlikely to bowl a number of overs, the all-rounder has only bowled the maximum ten overs three times in the last two years.
Bairstow misses out
Stokes will play an integral part as a batsman in place of Jonny Bairstow who misses out despite scoring a half-century in England's latest defeat. Morgan admitted "Jonny Bairstow will miss out unfortunately. It's been the case like that for the last couple of years. He's been very good when he's come in".
One man who may feel lucky to keep his place is Jason Roy. The aggressive opener has reached double-figures just once in his last five innings but Morgan claimed "the decision will remain the same throughout the tournament. Jason Roy is part of a strong opening partnership with Alex Hales. He will definitely play".