England aim to close out series
Match factsTuesday March 2, 2010
Start time 14.00 (08.00GMT)
Given their flashes of success against every other Test-playing nation, it's certain that Bangladesh will eventually beat England. But after eight straight defeats, it's the most recent, on Sunday that will really grate. Tamim Iqbal's dazzling hundred was a glimpse of the talent that lies latent in the country, but the soft dismissals and clumsy fielding from his team-mates showed just how far they have to go before they can regularly challenge the best sides.
England, for all their improvement in recent times, are not one of the world's best. Their battery of medium-pace bowlers looked all too inviting at times on the lifeless pitch and, with England returning to Bangladesh in little under a year for the World Cup, it's an area the management will have to consider.
Alastair Cook will be relieved to have secured his first victory as England captain but will be most satisfied with his own performance. His brisk 64 at the top of the order showed that the hard work he has put into his game has started to pay, but he'll more of the same and it was not enough to earn him a place in the provisional squad for the World Twenty20. Another strong performance will help him retain the authority he exuded in the opening fixture, which will be important as the tour wears on.
His opposite number, Shakib Al Hasan, did not quite match him with the bat, getting bogged down too easily, but his inventive captaincy - bringing himself on in the third over - and clever left-arm spin will be crucial for a fielding side that still lacks bite. If he can find support with the ball to choke England's middle order, Bangladesh may yet spring a surprise.
Form guide (last five completed matches)Bangladesh LLLLL
Watch out for...
Tamim Iqbal may have stolen the headlines in the first game, but the pressure will be on Bangladesh's middle order now after they failed miserably in supporting the opener as he blazed to a century. Shakib Al Hasan is a vital cog in that position, averaging 37.47 with two hundreds since Bangladesh's successful trip to the West Indies in July last year. He can also score quickly when the mood takes him, as his 85 against India at Mirpur in January showed. The quality of his bowling will also be vital to Bangladesh's success.
It was no surprise in the first game that when England's pace bowlers came unstuck Graeme Swann stepped up to give his captain control and vital breakthroughs. He was England's go-to bowler on their recent tour of South Africa and continued his good form with 3 for 32 to undermine Tamim's innings. On a dry pitch he found potent turn and will be England's main threat in the second match.
It was Bangladesh's batting - Tamim aside - that failed to fire in the first game, and although their bowlers struggled to defend the sub-par total, it is unlikely there will be changes to the line-up. After his lengthy lay off, Mashrafe Mortaza looked woefully short of pace and rhythm on Sunday and Bangladesh will be hoping for a better showing from their strike bowler.
Bangladesh (probable) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Junaid Siddique, 4 Aftab Ahmed, 5 Shakib Al Hasan (capt), 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Naeem Islam, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza, 10 Abdur Razzaq, 11 Shafiul Islam
During Tamim's assault England's choice of a four-pronged pace attack came under scrutiny and Ryan Sidebottom may well end up cursing Eoin Morgan's drop catch if England opt for a second spinner this time. Having ditched Adil Rashid, James Tredwell is the other spin option in the squad and could, after two tours without a match in New Zealand and South Africa, finally make his debut.
England (probable) 1 Alastair Cook, 2 Craig Kieswetter, 3 Kevin Pietersen, 4 Paul Collingwood, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Matt Prior (wk), 7 Luke Wright, 8 Stuart Broad, 9 Tim Bresnan, 10 Graeme Swann, 11 James Tredwell
Pitch and conditions
A slow, low turner would suit Bangladesh's spin-based attack, and although a different pitch is being used for the second game, conditions will be probably be very similar, with scoring likely to be easier when the ball is hard. While dew was not as much of a factor as initially thought in the first match, it still made life tougher fielding up lights.
Stats and Trivia
- Paul Collingwood took his 100th catch when he held a tumbling chance from Mahmudullah in the first ODI to become the 12th man to take 100 wickets, 100 catches and score 4000 runs in ODI cricket.
- If James Tredwell replaces Ryan Sidebottom then 10 of England's 11 will have first-class hundreds, Stuart Broad being the one man who doesn't.
- In the eight one-day internationals he has played this year, Tamim Iqbal has scored 334 runs at 41.75 - including a 42-ball 60 against India and 62 against New Zealand, as well as his hundred in the first match of this series.
- Abdur Razzak has now bowled 44 overs in one-dayers since he last took a wicket.
"The crowd always wants us to win, so it's tough because we always disappoint them. We know that, we know that very well, but we trust in our ability that we will achieve that thing that they want"
Tamim Iqbal will be hoping for more support from the middle order as an underperforming Bangladesh are put under pressure by their fans
"I think Alastair did a great job and he didn't put me on in the Powerplay, which is a bonus"
Graeme Swann does not want to emulate Shakib Al Hasan and bowl in during the fielding restrictions
Sahil Dutta and Liam Brickhill are assistant editors of Cricinfo