Bangladesh v England Test Betting: Players to watch as Cook's men go into battle

Tamim Iqbal: 'Key to Bangladesh's chances of getting anything from the series'
Tamim Iqbal: 'Key to Bangladesh's chances of getting anything from the series'

There will be plenty of young talent on show when England take on Bangladesh in the two-match Test series, starting this Thursday. James Buttler takes a look at the key players to watch on each team...

"He's a player that likes the big stage and a home Test series against England could well get his juices, and runs, flowing."


Hasseb Hameed

When Hasseb Hameed walks to the crease alongside Alastair Cook to open England's innings in Chittagong the Test ambitions of a generation of England openers will go unfulfilled. The likes of Adam Lyth, Alex Hales and any who still harbour hopes of becoming Cook's long-term opening partner, will see their Test aspirations finally consigned to history.

Lancashire's 19-year-old opener scored 1,198 Championship runs this summer at an average of 49.92. He will become England's youngest ever opening batsman and looks set to end a run that has seen Cook open the innings with eight different partners since the retirement of Andrew Strauss.

Hameed is one for the purists and his technique is excellent, but a Cook and Hameed opening combo won't contain many fireworks. Lancashire skipper Steven Croft has described him as The Great Wall of Bolton. Some call him the Baby Boycott, but others think a Bolton Boycott tag caters for his likely career longevity.

Yorkshire folk knew the name Joe Root long before he made his county debut. Similarly in Lancashire, Hameed's talent as a youngster meant the Red Rose faithful knew something special was coming. The good news, for them and for England, he's now here. Hameed is 5.04/1 to top score in England's first innings.

Ben Duckett

Tipped by some to open with Cook, the chances are that Duckett will bat between Root and Jonny Bairstow in the middle order. The 21-year-old racked up 2,706 runs in all competitions for Northamptonshire this summer and has already made an impact on this tour of Bangladesh with two fifties in his first three ODI s as England took the series 2-1.

While Hameed is very much a longer form player, Duckett is naturally capable of forging an international career in all formats. It's been a year he will never forget that has earned him Player of the Year awards galore, a T20 Blast trophy with his county and this week he makes his Test debut. He's scored fifties in the two warm-up matches ahead of the Test series and can cut, punch and sweep his way to Test success this winter.

Zafar Ansari

Surrey's left-arm spinner took 4/68 in the final warm-up game against a BCB XI and could well be England's third debutant on Thursday. Ansari would join Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid in a spin trio tasked with extracting turn on the slow Chittagong surface.

Ansari was selected for last winter's tour to Pakistan, but dislocated a thumb only hours after being called up. He took 22 wickets at 31.41 in the County Championship this season and has a career batting average of over 30. If he plays, Stuart Broad would find himself at number 11 in a batting order where every one of England's players has scored a first-class century.

England's likely Test XI:
A Cook, H Hameed, J Root, B Duckett, J Bairstow, B Stokes, M Ali, C Woakes, Z Ansari, A Rashid, S Broad


Mominul Haque

Haque has scored four tons and averages 56 in his 17 Tests. The 25-year-old is nicknamed Sourav by his team-mates as he bats a lot like for former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly. He has fond memories of Chittagong where he notched his highest Test score, 181 against New Zealand in 2013.

Shakib Al Hasan

Bangladesh's most famous player will need to be at his best in this series. The 29-year-old is his country's leading wicket-taker in Tests and their third highest run scorer. He may not pose the threat Ravi Ashwin will when England move on to India later this winter, but he's a clever, accurate bowler who England will find tough to get away. Bangladesh will also need him to fire with the bat and a Test average of just below 40 is a little less than his talent suggests. He's a player that likes the big stage and a home Test series against England could well get his juices, and runs, flowing.

Tamim Iqbal

Opener Tamim can be destructive when the mood takes. Bangladesh's leading Test run-scorer, likes to hit the ball hard, which can be scintillating, or his downfall. His seven Test centuries is also a record for his country. His 103 against England at Lord's in 2010 wrote his name on the famous Honours Board and he'll be a threat at the top of the order as he looks to take it to England's likely new ball combo of Broad and Chris Woakes.

In a young squad the experience of Shakib and Tamim is key to Bangladesh's chances of getting anything from the series. They may be more competitive these days in the one-day arena, but Test cricket provides them with a sterner challenge. They are 8.07/1 to win the First Test, with England at 1.75/7 and the draw at [3.45].

Bangladesh squad:
Mushfiqur Rahim (capt), Tamim Iqbal (v-capt), Soumya Sarker, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Hoque, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Shuvagata Hom, Sabbir Rahman, Mehedi Hasan, Shafiul Islam, Taijul Islam, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Nurul Hasan.


Check out Ed Hawkins' betting preview for the Test series.

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