From Bangladesh With Answers

 

Following a reasonable performance in South Africa, the England cricket team head to the sub-continent for an intriguing tour of Bangladesh. 

I say intriguing for this tour more than most, has many questions for England to answer. 

But the ultimate question is; Will England return from Bangladesh with all the answer to the questions been asked? I somehow think not. 

I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but it is a tour with too many questions to be answered and frankly not enough time on tour to answer them. 

So I will try to answer them for you…..

Will Andrew Strauss be missed? 

Of course he will be missed. Every team misses its leader and Strauss vastly improved as a leader but in the latter part of the South Africa tour his form suffered and the signs of exhaustion were obvious. The break will do him good and hopefully he will justify it with a return to form in the summer.

Will Alastair Cook (pictured below) be a successful replacement? 

 

He has many qualities that will stand him in good stead as well as some experienced heads alongside him, particularly in the form of Paul Collingwood. He showed mentally toughness in the recent South African tour and this has to be the ideal scenario to test his captaining abilities for his probable future promotion to the position. 

What are Bangladesh’s threats? 

They showed in the recent series against new Zealand that they are an improving team and will continue to improve with every series they play. Obviously confidence is an issue, with only three test wins to date, but they counter this with great team spirit and they will surprise a few in this coming series.

Who will open the batting for England? 

Personally I would like  to see England look to dominate this series and with that in mind I would plump for Michael Carberry to allow him the opportunity he deserves. Plus I would like to see England retain Trott, Kevin Pietersen (KP) and Collingwood in the middle order and look to promote Prior etc in the below positions.

Will KP find his form? 

He looked very comfortable in the recent twenty20 games against Pakistan and this has to be the ideal opportunity for him to score runs and to dominate the Bangladesh bowling attack. This will give him the ideal platform and confidence to take into the summer series against Bangladesh and Pakistan in preparation for the Ashes series in the winter.

Will Ian Bell be in the starting XI? 

I hope not. He proved a valuable player in the series in South Africa but I firmly believe it is time for some of the old guard to step aside and return to the county scene to prove their worth as others have fully justified this opportunity and it will continue to with the tone set by Strauss and coach, Andy Flower.

Will the new additions make the most of their opportunity? 

You would hope that by including them they will get an opportunity but I think it will be limited test opportunities except for the aforementioned Carberry though the others namely Tredwell, Plunkett and Shahzad will push the regulars hard for an opportunity to shine. 

Can we see Stuart Broad (pictured below) bat at 7? 

 

In my opinion, this along with the return series versus Bangladesh is the ideal opportunity to test the abilities of Broad or possibly Graeme Swann as a number 7 batsmen. Will they take the opportunity? Time will tell but if England don’t utilise this option now, it may always be a case of if and not when.

Will we select two spinners? 

Possibly. They have obviously included after a fantastic 2009 season, taking 69 wickets at an average of 26.63 helps, but it remains to be seen if England will go for it. This will leave three seam bowlers and at times England look a man short with this in mind, I feel KP will be used as a back-up option for this series.

Will England win both series? 

It should be an emphatic yes and after all Bangladesh’s test level performance should allow for England to win both series. The test series should be straight forward, but as England fans we are looking for more than just a series win. The one-day series will be closer but England should be expecting to win all three matches.

Hope that has answered some of the pending questions surrounding this up-coming tour. The squads for this series are as follows;

Test squad: A Cook (captain), I Bell, S Broad, M Carberry, P Collingwood, S Davies (wkt), G Onions, K Pietersen, L Plunkett, M Prior (wkt), A Shahzad, R Sidebottom, G Swann, J Tredwell, J Trott, L Wright. 

One-day squad: A Cook (captain), T Bresnan, S Broad, P Collingwood, J Denly, E Morgan, M Prior (wkt), K Pietersen, L Plunkett, R Sidebottom, A Shahzad, G Swann, J Tredwell, J Trott, L Wright.

The itinerary for the tour of Bangladesh is as follow;

23 Feb Tour Match, BCB XI v England, Mirpur
25 Feb Tour Match, BCB XI v England, Mirpur

Feb 28: 1st ODI, SBNCS Dhaka
March 2: 2nd ODI, SBNCS Dhaka
March 5: 3rd ODI, JACSC Chittagong 

March 7-9: Tour match, JACSC Chittagong 

Match 12-16: 1st Test, JACSC Chittagong
March 20-24: 2nd Test, SBNCS Dhaka 

Hope you enjoy this up-coming tour and I personally hope England answer all of the questions with confidence. I also hope that Bangladesh put up a strong fight, as this will stand England well for the coming year ahead.

Cheers.

Gaffers

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