When they take on England in Cardiff on Saturday, Bangladesh will be up against a very different side from the 2015 World Cup, when Bangladesh won by 15 runs in Adelaide to knock Eoin Morgan's side out of the tournament. Here's a primer to help Bangladesh understand this new changed England team better.

What's this 'new' England we keep hearing about?

England are more or less the same team that Bangladesh faced in the 2017 Champions Trophy, except they have become cricket's hottest property over the last year or so, trying to score off every ball, ideally fours or sixes, and that too, with more than a dash of style. They also attack on the field, making good use of the short ball.

England have come into the World Cup as favourites, having won 14 out of 19 ODI series since 2016, including the one in Bangladesh in late 2016. Most of those players form the core of the current side, which also includes newcomer Jofra Archer who has not only pace, but also…

Hold on, Bangladesh gave him one of his first big breaks!

Since his first overseas T20 stint in the BPL for Khulna Titans in 2017, Archer has become one of the world's most sought-after cricketers. The ECB changed its eligibility criteria for the qualification period to facilitate Archer's World Cup selection. His bowling skills apart, he is a gun fielder and also has a first-class century.

Okay, we know enough about Archer. Tell us about the others

They also have Mark Wood, who can crank up the speed gun at will. Liam Plunkett and Chris Woakes haven't troubled Bangladesh in the past but are capable of causing some damage. Adil Rashid fared badly against Pakistan at Trent Bridge - he conceded 43 from five overs - and might make way for Plunkett.

But it's not about their bowlers. It's the batsmen. They have been on fire. It's their transformation into an attacking unit that has made England the pre-tournament favourites. They have come a long way since the 2015 World Cup…

… when Bangladesh knocked them out

That was then. Six players from that XI no longer play ODIs. Captain Morgan, their middle-order mainstay, has done damage against Bangladesh in the past. Buttler, whom Bangladesh managed to annoy back in 2016, is being seen as a potential Player of the Tournament. Woakes, who went for plenty in that Adelaide game four years ago, has also managed to remain a new-ball threat.

But, if you remember, England haven't beaten Bangladesh in the last two World Cups…

Certainly. Before Adelaide, there was the Mahmudullah heist in 2011, where he added 58 for the ninth wicket with Shafiul Islam to snatch a two-wicket win. It was also the match where Graeme Swann got into an argument with an umpire over a refused ball change and was fined, along with captain Andrew Strauss. England, however, were a very different side then.

And so were Bangladesh. But over the last four years, Bangladesh have won more matches against higher-ranked sides than ever before. Like England, they have also learned how to hold on to the momentum in a match, and have also formed a core group of players who have been playing together for a long time.

Yes, the 2016 tour was fun. Both the ODI and Test series were competitive, although there were security concerns.

Had England not toured then, Bangladesh would have struggled to call any other country to tour them, and that could have had a spiralling effect on the cricket team too.

It has certainly been an interesting time between the two teams. It is a pity that they don't play each other more regularly.

Don't get started on that. England have only played four ODIs against Bangladesh since the 2015 World Cup.

Oh, then Bangladesh should look to make a big statement in Cardiff.

Well, how many big statements do the ECB need? You're right about Cardiff, though. Bangladesh have a knack of pulling off miracles here.

Certainly. Beating that Australia side in 2005, and then Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah making centuries against New Zealand from 33 for 4 in the Champions Trophy two years ago, are both right up there. But beating this England side would mean an almost miraculous bowling effort from an attack that has lately been low on confidence.

Not many teams have been able to crack England at home, especially with their prolific ODI run-scoring. They also seem to want to become the first team to reach 500 runs in an ODI innings.


No, seriously! More than half their 300-plus scores in ODIs have come after the 2015 World Cup. England have made four of the last five 400-plus totals. Bangladesh have managed to raise their team run rate from 4.71 in ODIs (until the 2015 World Cup) to 4.89 and will be aiming for a big total in Cardiff too.

Well, good luck with that. But it is still Bangladesh playing against England in a World Cup, and that too in Cardiff.

They never said it would be easy.