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Stuart Dalgleish 9th Mar 2010 - 16:07

Lions to be kings over the Tigers once more

The record books will tell you that England won the one day series three games to nil; however the series was more competitive than the scoreline suggests.

England's batting was solid if not spectacular and if it weren't for a couple of great individual innings the tourists could have easily lost one of the ODI's; thankfully for the Three Lions, Bangladesh's bowling is still not up to shape and they claimed a clean sweep series win.

The team that England fielded in those ODI's will be very different to the side that takes to the pitch in Chittagong on Friday morning though; two of the big scorers Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter have departed and the likes of Ian Bell (5/1 top England batsman) and Michael Carberry (5/1) are only considered for the longer format of the game.

Add to this that quite a few key players are unavailable, off form or struggling for fitness then the odds of 1/3 on England look too short in my opinion.

Yes they have got results against two of the best Test nations in the world over the last year, but they have shown real inconsistency at times and should they not start in the right manner they could be in for a tougher game than many would expect.

An area where the tourists need to be at their best is the bowling attack; with James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom injured and Stuart Broad (7/2 top England bowler) still not 100% fit a lot of pressure will be on Graeme Swann (5/2) to perform as England's premier bowler.

He might be helped out should, as expected, England choose to play with two spinners, as James Tredwell (4/1) has done his chances no harm at all by taking eight wickets in the recent warm-up match against Bangladesh A, the Kent spinner now looks like he's ended Monty Panesar's international career and will hope to start his own on Friday.

He could be joined in making a Test debut by Michael Carberry, who if selected would be likely to open the batting with stand-in captain Alastair Cook (7/2 top England batsman), should the Surrey ace not make the cut then England will have a tough decision on their batting order.

My choice to open would be Jonathan Trott (4/1), who's played well so far in his fledgling Test career, starting of course with that brilliant century to help England win the Ashes decider, the South African-born batsman didn't enjoy the last Test in the country of his birth but still has a fairly healthy average of 38.88 in the Test environment and will be vital to England's chances.

After the openers I would probably put Ian Bell (5/1) in at three, or four if Trott and Carberry both play, and hope he can play with a steady hand to ease some of the pressure on Kevin Pietersen (7/2) who is desperately struggling for form, Paul Collingwood (9/2) should be fit to play at five then Matt Prior (could be a shout at 12/1 to be top England batsman) will complete the batting line-up.

England then have quite a few bowling options; they are likely to play two spinners in Swann and Tredwell, then there's a few players who are chomping at the bit to be involved.

Tim Bresnan (4/1 top England bowler) has come on strongly in the last few months and could be a regular part of the Test squad and not just limited overs cricket even if Anderson is fit, Graham Onions (4/1 top England bowler) isn't fully fit so might not be risked but Steven Finn (5/1) impressed against Bangladesh A by taking three wickets so could step in to the Durham mans shoes.

Bangladesh don't have such injury worries and are even able to name a squad without their star man Mohammad Ashraful, who's been suffering from some Kevin Pietersen-like form recently having had a shocker in New Zealand.

It was quite ironic that he dismissed England's stuttering star in the warm-up match.

The hosts will name three left-arm spinners in their squad; captain Shakib Al Hasan (5/2 top Bangladesh bowler) and Abdur Razzak (7/2) both caused England problems in the ODI series, and Enamul Haque Jr (5/1) could also play, they will also call upon Raqibul Hasan (13/2 top Bangladesh batsman) who scored a century in the warm-up match.

England should do the business but I might be having a sneaky bet on 1 or X (Bangladesh or draw) in the double chance market, which is pretty decent odds at 9/4, especially if England's bowlers toil in the heat like they have done in the West Indies and South Africa over the last year.

Bangladesh are a whopping 7/1 in the match betting market, the draw is 7/2 and England are 1/3.



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