Ed Hawkins previews game one in the ODI series in Dhaka on Friday and says although the toss is important, the hosts should at least trade as favourites...
"England are considerably weaker and they must also contend with a sprightly, thrusting host in alien conditions"
Bangladesh v England
Friday 7 October 09.30
TV: live on Sky Sports
Bangladesh have won their last six series at home - including India, South Africa and Pakistan - so they are a threat. They are a well-balanced squad capable of giving England a tough time.
Up front Tamim Iqbal will be charged with building a platform to go big. He could work in tandem with Imrul Kayes, who flayed England in the warm-up.
The excellent Soumya Sarkar and Shakib-al-Hasan will be the key wickets for England while Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim, the wicketkeeper, have good stickability.
With the ball they are not at their strongest. Mustiafizur Rahman, the young tyro, is injured while partner in crime Rubel Hossain has been dropped. The experienced Mashrafe Mortaza leads the team and the attack. Taskin Ahmed is another raw pacer.
Look out for spinner Nassir Hossain. In tandem with Shabib's tweak, they will look to tie down the visitors.
England are not at their strongest. If you've not been following the will-they-won't-they storyline prior to the tour, Eoin Morgan, the captain and Alex Hales, the opener, have decided to stay at home for security reasons.
The loss of Morgan is a blow. They can probably cope without Hales. But arguably the biggest absence is Joe Root, their best batsman and the only man they have in the ICC's top 10.
It looks as though James Vince will open with Jason Roy. Ben Duckett, the Northamptonshire youngster, will bat at No 3. So much relies on Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali.
With the ball, Adil Rashid has to keep an end tight. David Willey, Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett will provide the pace meaning England bat down to No 11.
The first-innings scores in the last 10 at Dhaka are (1/2 denoting game won by side batting first or second): 279-1/208-2/265-1/276-1/241-1/273-1/162-2/160-2/317-1/200-2. That is an average of 238. But those numbers include matches against the likes of Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.
So if we strip those out and include only matches involving Bangladesh and the top eight in the last two years the list looks like this: 162-2/160-2/317-1/200-2/307-1/250-2/239-2/329-1. That is an average of 246. You will also note chasers have been more successful.
Bangladesh are 3.3512/5 and England 1.4640/85. As per our series preview, we think that's way too short about the tourists.
They are considerably weaker and they must also contend with a sprightly, thrusting host in alien conditions. England do not fend so well on dry, dusty turner which this surely will be.
But we cannot blindly back Bangladesh. We can be a little smarter. We are wary of England's late -order power and their never-say-die attitude. They are terrific at chasing but not so hot at defending.
That will be our guide, although we would be confident Bangladesh will trade as favourites at some stage, regardless of the toss result.
Top Bangladesh runscorer
Soumya is Bangladesh's Mr Reliable against the Top Eight sides. He outscores Tamim in the last two years by almost 150 runs. Soumya gets a 5.04/1 quote and has the best average at the venue of the home batsmen. Tamim is 4.57/2. Shakib is 5.04/1. Soumya is 1.910/11 for more than 17.5 runs. That's an outstanding bet with the Sportsbook.
Top England runscorer
Just as Moeen and Buttler rescued England in the warm-up, don't be surprised if they do it again. The pair are both 5.04/1 at the moment. Neither are value but when the market settled bigger numbers should be available.
Back Bangladesh if they chase
Back Soumya for over 17.5 runs at 1.910/11 (Sportsbook)
Ed Hawkins P-L
To £10 level stakes (unless otherwise stated), based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate.
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