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July 11, 2010
Match factsJuly 12, 2010, Edgbaston
Bangladesh lit up their English summer and breathed life into the series with their shock triumph in the second game at Bristol. Having gone 15 ODI matches and 247 days without victory they turned their fortunes around with a display of remarkable hunger and spirit.
England were outplayed but Andrew Strauss would accept his team were a touch casual. Fielding lapses, ill-disciplined bowling and some loose shots betrayed a side not operating at full intensity. Defeat to set up a series decider at Edgbaston should stir them.
While it was Bangladesh who were parachuting in replacements for Saturday's game, it's England now who have the concerns. Ravi Bopara has had to come into the squad after Ian Bell fractured his left foot and there must be some worry over the form of James Anderson.
Since being left out of England's triumphant World Twenty20 side Anderson has cut a forlorn figure and his returns this summer - seven wickets in five matches against Australia and three expensive scalps in this series - have been poor. Tamim Iqbal's flashing blade is enough to unsettle even the steeliest of bowlers but, in the crunch game, Anderson must prove he can rise to the mantle expected of England's most experienced bowler.
Really though, there is only one story. Bangladesh are chasing a dream series win that just two games ago looked completely unthinkable. They won't start favourites, they rarely do, but they could finish on top of the world.
Form guide (last five completed matches)
Watch out for...
Andrew Strauss has been in sublime touch this series and has, by some distance, looked England's best batsman. Curiously for a man with 18 Test hundreds, Strauss's conversion rate in one-day cricket is poor. England have talked for a long time about making more centuries and given his form at the top of the order, the captain could set the example at Edgbaston by scoring his fourth.
Rubel Hossain turned the game at Bristol on its head when his pacey slingers removed England's openers. Missing from the first match he gave the Bangladesh attack some much-needed fire to accompany the wily spin duo of Abdur Razzak and Shakib Al Hasan. He will need to provide the same incision if Bangladesh are going to have a chance.
For the England selectors there is the familiar problem of balance. Six batsmen would mean Ravi Bopara gets his first chance since September 2009 but force James Tredwell out again and leave the attack looking a touch one-paced.
Five batsmen may nudge Ajmal Shahzad, who impressed with three wickets at Bristol, aside because of Tim Bresnan's more robust lower-order batting. But new-ball wickets have been a problem for England for a while so they'll be reluctant to let Shahzad go.
England (probable) 1 Andrew Strauss (capt), 2 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Paul Collingwood, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Michael Yardy, 7 Luke Wright, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 James Tredwell, 10 Stuart Broad, 11 James Anderson.
Having secured a historic victory Bangladesh won't be in a rush to meddle with the side. Expect an unchanged line up at Edgbaston.
Bangladesh (possible) 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Imrul Kayes, 3 Junaid Siddique, 4 Jahurul Islam (wk), 5 Mohammad Ashraful, 6 Shakib Al Hasan, 7 Mahmudullah, 8 Rubel Hossain, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 10 Abdur Razzak, 11 Shafiul Islam
Pitch and conditions
Fortress Edgbaston has been a happy hunting ground for England over the last few years. Most recently though, the Barmy Army was replaced by an equally vociferous Pakistani crowd for the two Twenty20 games Pakistan played against Australia. It made for a thrilling atmosphere and both teams will hope for similar capacity-crowds for the series decider. Edgbaston has been a high-scoring ground in limited-overs cricket this season and will suit the free-flowing batsmen in both teams.
Stats and Trivia
"I've said before there were a few chinks in the armour of this England team and I guess them leaving a few players out of their side weakened them a bit."
Jamie Siddons has reason to believe his team can deliver a series win .
"Ruthlessness is a skill in itself and it's something we need to keep improving on."
Paul Collingwood wants England to rediscover their cutting edge for the series decider.
The BCCI set up a three-man committee to tackle the problem of chucking at age-group and domestic cricket, and it has produced significant results in five years
The board's latest standoff with its players has had embarrassing consequences internationally, so any resolution now needs to be approached thoughtfully
What Australia have not done since returning a fractured unit from India is head back to Asia to play an Asian team. Two of their major weaknesses - handling spin and reverse swing - will be tested in the UAE by Pakistan
Stats highlights from the fourth ODI between India and West Indies in Dharamsala
West Indies may have formally played the fourth ODI in Dharamsala but their fielding suggested their minds were already on the flight back home
Players demanding that home pitches should be prepared to favour them don't realise it's a retaliatory business
ESPNcricinfo runs the rule over the preparation of all 16 Australia players ahead of the first Test, which starts in Dubai on Wednesday