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Bangladesh v England first ODI preview: Jos Buttler's England need to step up

As England’s Test squad continue to make headlines, the one-day squad need to find some form as they head towards their 50-over World Cup title defence in India later this year.

The latest challenge for Jos Buttler’s men, who have dropped to fourth in the world rankings, comes in the shape of a three-match one-day international against Bangladesh.

WhatBangladesh v England, first ODI
WhereSher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur
When06:00, Wednesday 1st March
How to watchSky Sports Cricket & Main Event
OddsBangladesh 6/4, England 8/15

England out to get back on track

After winning the World Cup in 2019, England’s one-day form has taken a dip and as they plan their defence of the trophy, now is the time for them to rediscover their form.

The results timeline highlights the dip in form for the ODI squad since that dramatic final against New Zealand at Lord’s on 14th July 2019.

That year England won 14 of their 20 one-day internationals, but since then they have won 14 of their last 30 50-over matches and just two of their last nine.

The start of this year saw a 2-1 series defeat in South Africa and Buttler’s men - 3/1 to be crowned world champions again - could do with a confidence-boosting success in Bangladesh.

The head-to-head stats certainly favour the tourists, with England having won 17 of the two sides' 21 previous encounters.

England won by 106 runs in their last meeting, which was in Cardiff during the 2019 World Cup, after smashing 386-6 from their 50 overs.

This is a much-improved Tigers squad though, with the hosts having won 12 of their last 13 home ODI series, including victory over India in December.

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Changes give fringe players chance to shine

With the likes of Ben Duckett, Joe Root, Harry Brook and Olly Stone missing from the travelling squad, there will be opportunities for others to stake their claim for a World Cup place.

Teenage leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed is one player who could be handed an international white-ball debut, following his impressive displays in the recent Pakistan Test series.

Captain Buttler is keen to see what he can do, saying: "We're really excited to have someone with so much talent, not just with the ball, with the bat as well.

"We're looking forward to watching him develop and hopefully turning himself into a brilliant international cricketer."

All-rounder Will Jacks is another who will also be part of the squad, with the Surrey ace looking to feature in an ODI, having already made Test and T20 appearances.

Three bowlers who are working their way back from injury issues are also set to feature in Bangladesh, as they look to prove their fitness ahead of the World Cup in India.

Mark Wood was rested for the series in South Africa, but the Durham paceman will return to the squad in Bangladesh. Meanwhile, Jofra Archer will continue his comeback having faced the Proteas after 17 months out and the World Cup winner is 10/3 to be Team - Top Bowler on Wednesday.

Lancashire pace bowler Saqib Mahmood is another who has been out of the international arena, missing nine months after suffering a stress fracture of his back, but he will also be part of the touring party.

Shakib still key for Tigers' hopes

Shakib Al Hasan is still the most recognisable Bangladesh cricketer and the 35-year-old tops the ODI all-rounder stats list.

Coach Chandika Hathurusingha admits they have to be careful with Shakib’s workload, but it is likely that the Test and T20 captain will feature at some stage in the three-game series.

Even if he does play a small role, Bangladesh has the world’s third best ODI all-rounder in their camp, with Mehedi Hasan player of the match in their opening win over India in December.

Mustafizur Rahman is another player making big strides and is currently ranked inside the top-10 of the ICC ODI bowling rankings.

The 27-year-old has 141 wickets in 82 one-day internationals, with an economy rate of 5.08, as he prepares to play England on home soil for the first time.

The left-armer, who has played limited-overs cricket for Sussex, can be backed at 3/1 to be Team - Top Bowler on Wednesday.

Hathurusingha is in confident mood ahead of the three-match series, saying: "We are playing full strength, I don't think they have come with their full strength.

"Some of them are playing Test cricket. I back our skills and strength. Saying that, they have incredible strength in the last ten years or so."

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