Bangladesh v England ODI Series Betting: Tourists there for the taking

England bat deep with Ali and Willey but will it be enough?
England bat deep with Ali and Willey but will it be enough?

England's tour of Bangladesh opens with three one-day internationals, beginning on Friday. Cricket correspondent Ed Hawkins analyses the series and correct score odds to conclude that we have to take on the tourists...

"We recognise that there could be times when Bangladesh's spinners tie them in knots. Indeed, we are counting on it"

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Bangladesh to win series 2-1 at 4.57/2

Despite trials against world champions Australia, runners-up New Zealand and perennial contenders South Africa since their World Cup ignominy, the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh will represent their most stern examination.

As the growing force in the format, England have plenty of goodwill. We like them and have already called them out as value for the Champions Trophy next summer. Indeed, it would be a surprise - and failure - if they didn't make the final.

Yet an English summer is not like a Bangladesh summer. And there you have the rub. Conditions will surely be against the touring team. True or swinging surfaces, which assist their array of batsmen who like to hit through the line or their battery of pacers respectively, will not be in abundance. England can expect low slow turners of the like they rarely see.

This is the chief reason why they represent a terrible wager at 1.51/2 to win the series. Factor in that this is not their strongest team and we are able to start using terms like 'value-busting Bangladesh'.

Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales have refused to travel because of safety concerns while Joe Root has been rested. That robs England of their captain, chief firestarter and their best batsman. Root is rated No 4 on the ICC ranking list.

It means England must reshuffle their top order. James Vince looks likely to replace Hales with Ben Duckett, the impressive Northamptonshire youngster batting at No 3. Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, the new leader, come next.

Do we really want to be betting on a 1.51/2 shot after such upheaval? No, of course not. It might also be pertinent to raise the point about whether there is some unrest within the dressing room that key men are missing.

But that would be gilding the lilly. The truth is we don't need to make guesses as to why Bangladesh are the value. We know they are.

For a start, look at their home record. They have won six consecutive series since November 2014. The defeated include India, Pakistan and South Africa. That is mightily impressive.

Bangladesh are no longer one-trick ponies in terms of playing style or personnel. This is the journey that all minnows must undertake: improving from relying on one way of playing or one man to make them competitive.

Bangladesh do not pick an army of spinners and let them get on with it. They now have a varied and pacey bowling attack. The vastly experienced Mashrafe Mortaza is ably assisted by the slippery Rubel Hossain meaning the absence of their superstar, Mustafizur Rahman, is not as important.

Shakib-al-Hasan, who makes the top ten of bowlers, gets support from Nasir Hussain and Mahmudullah. The threats will keep on coming for England where in the past the fifth bowler would have been been milked.

With the bat Imrul Kayes showed England off the potential pain with a blistering 121 off 91 balls in the warm-up. But Kayes is Bangladesh's nearly man.

Bangladesh rely on Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Soumya Sarkar and the redoubtable Shakib to get their runs. There's genuine depth in this Bangladesh team.

Of course there is genuine depth to England, too and it would be remiss not to point out that this is going to be mighty close. It would be a turn-up if this series was not claimed by the odd game in three.

The series score market is alive to the scenario and there is little point in playing both outcomes. A 2-1 win for Bangladesh is 4.57/2 with England 2.26/5 by the same margin.

The toss should be important. It is slightly easier to chase in Dhaka - venue for the first two matches - and that should suit both teams. In that regard the warm-up match between England and the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI could prove to be an important pointer.

England's bowlers went round the park, as they are prone to do. A niggle to Liam Plunkett and expensive spells from David Willey, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid did not give Buttler the control he would have wished for.

Despite conceding 309, England got up to win. Buttler and Moeen rescued England from 170 for five after that green top order lost its way. England are strong in the chase because they can call on such superb quality at Nos 6 and 7. They will also be able to bat all the way down to No 11.

Yes, we recognise that there could be times when Bangladesh's spinners tie them in knots. Indeed, we are counting on it. But we can't be so prescriptive and refuse to recognise that England can bat. If we didn't think that we'd be taking the 10.09/1 about a 3-0 home win.

Bangladesh are similar in batting style in the way they throw caution to the win. They will attack. But they won't fuss about getting bogged down by spinners. Nor will they be worried by any of England's pacers. They know that their opponents have yet to prove themselves defending targets, which is the real art of ODI.

So all in all we have a contest between two thrusting, energetic and carefree teams. It should be a corker with Bangladesh sneaking it. No disgrace in that.

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Back Bangladesh to win the ODI series 2-1 at 4.57/2

Ed Hawkins P-L

2016: +208.82
2015: +£380.50
2014: +315.10
2013: +250.80
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.
*Follow Ed on Twitter @cricketbetting

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