England begin a three-match ODI series in Bangladesh on Wednesday morning, and Richard Mann fancies the hosts to spring a surprise.
England fans face a change of pace when the Three Lions start a three-match ODI series with BANGLADESH on Wednesday, and conditions are sure to be much different than in South Africa where they played out a high-scoring series just a few weeks ago.
Mirpur hosts the first two matches, and spin dominated when this ground last hosted international cricket in December, India scrambling home by three wickets in a Test match where spinners enjoyed considerable success.
When Australia visited these shores for a white-ball tour in the middle of 2021, Bangladesh ensured they played to their strengths with turning pitches served up throughout – and the likes of Shakib Al Hasan and Mehidy Hasan Miraz should prove a real handful for an England batting line-up that generally enjoys good batting conditions.
That’s not to say England won’t be able to win this series – they’ll start as heavy favourites and deservedly so having once again demonstrated their white-ball pedigree when lifting the T20 World Cup late last year.
But that victory came in Australia, and again, they will have to adapt to completely different pitches here, and their best players of spin – namely Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali – will need to lead from the front, especially given concerns about Jason Roy’s overall level of form and how Dawid Malan gets on against so much spin.
Moeen and Adil Rashid ensure England have spin bowling covered themselves, but the likes of Tamim Iqbal, Litton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib are happy against spin, much more so than if they had to face Jofra Archer and Mark Wood on quicker pitches than Bangladesh will provide.
I’ve always believed conditions are the most important factor when betting on cricket – and it generally dictates every advised selection – so with conditions in Bangladesh sure to be against England, I can’t resist backing the hosts to win the first match at 2/1 (Sky Bet).
I mentioned Australia’s white-ball tour of Bangladesh in 2021, and it’s worth remembering that Australia lost that T20 series in really challenging conditions. Only a few months later, Australia became T20 champions.
It doesn’t matter how good you are, sometimes conditions can be a great leveller in this game, and I’m banking on this on Wednesday morning.
The side markets are interesting, with doubts about Malan and Roy making Buttler a solid alternative in the top England batsman market.
Sky Bet are about right at 9/2, though, and with so few firms priced up at the time of writing, my advice is to hold tight on him, while I wouldn’t be averse to eyeing up big prices about Sam Curran and Chris Woakes throughout the series.
Both can bat, and if conditions are as challenging as when Australia visited here in 2021, a lower-order cameo might well top score at some stage in the series.
To small stakes, it’s a theory I will explore if unable to bet Buttler at 5/1 or bigger. Remember, England’s captain bats at number five in ODI cricket, unlike in T20s when opening.
For the hosts, making firm assumptions about their batting order at this stage is fraught with danger but on the same line of thought, pay close attention to Afif Hossain and Mehidy who are both very dangerous and have a history of going off at big prices in the top Bangladesh batsman market.
Preview posted at 1630 GMT on 27/02/2023
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