Bangladesh vs England First Test Preview: Hosts back in red ball action after 448 days in the wilderness

The match is the first of a two game series after England won 2-1 in the ODI format.

Bangladesh vs England First Test Preview: Hosts back in red ball action after 448 days in the wilderness
Alastair Cook will become England's most capped Test player (photo: Getty Images)

The wait is almost over for the Bangladesh fans. After 14 months in Test cricket wilderness since they played South Africa, the series hosts will finally resume red ball action on Thursday against England.

Can Bangladesh rekindle their form?

The break that came about due to security issues halted proceedings at the wrong time for Bangladesh. Previously recognised as a "weaker nation" from those in the Test match world, Bangadesh had been enjoying a purple patch that saw them in the midst of their best ever run of form. They had only lost one of eight Tests in the space of ten months.

During the period of white space for the sub-continent nation, England have enjoyed and endured an inconsitent year. Alastair Cook's side have played 15 matches, losing as many as they won and drawing three. 

Who will join Cook?

Cook himself is currently relishing life. He arrived late in Bangladesh following the birth of his second child. The left-hander will celebrate that moment further when he becomes England's most capped Test match player, surpassing Alec Stewart on 133 when he leads England out in the searing temperatures.

The captain has an excellent record in Asia, boasting eight Test centuries, second only to Jacques Kallis from players outside of the continent. He will be joined in opening the England innings' by either Haseeb Hameed or Ben Duckett. It is a choice of defence or attack for the selectors, with Hameed describing himself as "a modern day Geoffrey Boycott" at a strike rate teetering on 39. In contrast, Duckett is one of the most offensive players in the game, second only to international colleague Jonny Bairstow with his strike rate of 60.81. 

Ben Duckett enjoyed an impressive ODI series (photo: Getty Images)
Ben Duckett enjoyed an impressive ODI series (photo: Getty Images)

At the other end of the batting order could be 39-year old Gareth Batty. With spin likely to be the order of the day, the Surrey captain could become England's oldest player for 13 years.

"Bangladesh will not be underestimated"

Whoever earns their place for the visitors will undoubtedly be involved in a tough contest. Bangladesh boast three of the top 27 Test batsmen in the world, albeit so do England. Their lynchpin is Mominul Haque who has scored more runs than any other Bangladesh batsman after 17 Tests, with 1456 to his name.

In Shakib Al Hasan, the hosts also have the second best all-rounder on the planet. He has a phenomenal record at home and will look to build upon that form in Chittagong.

Joe Root has claimed "Bangladesh will not be underestimated" and England will have to ensure that is the case if they are to be successful.