England v Bangladesh: Morgan can be the main man

Eoin Morgan is fancied to put in a MoM performane against Bangladesh
Eoin Morgan is fancied to put in a MoM performane against Bangladesh

The ICC Champions Trophy kicks off with the tournament favourites against the rank outsiders and with the match odds not much fun to play on, the best bet is that England skipper Eoin Morgan walks off with the match's top award, says Jamie Pacheco...

"But Jason Roy looks out of sorts and it’s hard to understand why the skipper is precisely twice the price of Joe Root (7/1) and a bigger price than another four England players."

England v Bangladesh
Thursday 10:30
Live on Sky Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video


If this isn't the best ODI side England have ever had, at least it's the best batting line-up and by far the most aggressive with willow in hand.

The fact that they have to mull over which two from Jason Roy, Sam Billings or Johnny Bairstow they have to leave out is a problem just about any other side in the tournament would love to have.

Their bowling isn't too shabby, either. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid are fine spinners while Liam Plunkett often makes the most of helpful bowling conditions, Jake Ball has been bowling pretty well at international level for a year now and Mark Wood's final over against South Africa under huge pressure is proof of how far he's come.

But the most important player of all is arguably Ben Stokes. His fearless batting is Lance Klusener-like, his bowling accurate and to top it all off, he's the best fielder in the team by a country mile.

You can see why England are favourites to win the tournament.


Bangladesh are, alongside England, probably the most improved side of the last few years.

It's getting to the stage where if they were to beat one of the Test-playing nations in an ODI, it wouldn't be that much of an upset anymore.

In opener Tamim Iqbal, all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan, skipper and fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza and keeper Mushfiqur Rahim they have all the main bases covered, with the added advantage that they can all be said to be at the peak of their powers.

The worry is that they'll have to bat first on a green-top or that they can't hold it together in a tight chase. But then again, that's why they're the price they are.

Match Odds

If this were in Bangladesh, Mortaza's men would be far closer to 2.35/4 than they would to 5.79/2. But it's not.

It's likely to be a cloudy day and if they win the toss, they have to be brave and opt to bowl. Mortaza and Mustafizur Rahman then need to make the most of the conditions and snaffle a couple of early wickets if their price is to shorten to allow for a trade. Any scenario other than that and England's price will go south pretty quickly.

Bangladesh Top Batsman

For the most part backing middle order batsmen in T20s is the fast way to the poor house. Openers aren't quite as Gung-Ho as people make out and if they bat well, anyone coming in at 5 or lower might not get a knock at all. But in 50 over cricket it's a different story and it may pay to look a little bit lower down the order here when you think of how this match might pan out.

If England bat first you'd think Bangladesh will be chasing at least 300 and if England bowl first, it wouldn't be too much of a surprise if Wood/Ball/Willey/Finn had them in all sorts of bother after 10 or so overs. And that might call for a rescue act named Mahmudullah. He's been batting at 6 recently but could realistically come in anywhere between 3 and 6, especially if the Tigers decide to separate Al Hasan and Rahim in the order.

With 141 ODIs under his belt he's not lacking for experience and his average of 33.91 is better than anyone in the side bar Al-Hasan and Soumya Sarkar, who might have to bat in far tougher conditions. Mahmudullah is a decent price at 15/2 on the Betfair Sportsbook and you might even get a better price on the Exchange.

Man of the Match

If you're slightly new to man-of-the-match markets, the first rule is that you need to be confident that your man is going to end up on the winning side. And by now we've established who the winning side is likely to be.

Eoin Morgan was probably the pick of the England batsmen in the recent ODI series against South Africa and looks fully in control at the moment. He'll bat at 4 and given Bangladesh's bowlers' inexperience of these conditions he might not be at the crease for as long as we'd like. But Jason Roy looks out of sorts and it's hard to understand why the skipper is precisely twice the price of Joe Root (7/1) and a bigger price than another four England players. This could be the last time you can get 14/1 on the Irish-born left-hander to pick up MOM honours this tournament.

Recommended Bets

0.5pts Back Mahmudullah to be Bangladesj top batsman @ 15/2 on the Betfair Sportsbook
0.5pts Back Eoin Morgan to be man of the match @ 14/1 on Betfair Sportsbook

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