About the Match
The eighth edition of the ICC Champions Trophy is going to be held in England and Wales between 1st and 18th of June, 2017. Bangladesh has made it to this edition of Champions Trophy at the expense of former champions West Indies, and would now want to make a positive impression on the world stage. They will, however, take on England in the tournament opener at The Oval on 1st June, and how they perform against the home team will give a good indicator of whether they really deserve to be at this stage or not.
The current fifth-ranked team in the ICC ODI team rankings, England, has had a real turnaround since the 2015 world cup, where they were eliminated during the league stage of the tournament by none other than Bangladesh. Though the England side entering this tournament is a completely different team to the one which played in the 2015 world cup, and they have made some steady but definitive progress under the leadership of Eoin Morgan in the last eighteen months.
Being the hosts for this game will provide England with the all important home advantage. They will know the conditions inside out and the crowd will be on their side as well. This familiarity with conditions also brings added pressure though, and how well England is able to handle this pressure can determine the result of this game.
Most of the players in the English squad are in good form, and the team has also done well against Ireland recently, where they clean swept Ireland in a two-match ODI series. Ben Stokes, who was in sensational form with both bat and ball in the IPL, is back for England and will be a crucial player for them. But at the same time, they have other players as well who can be match-winners on their day.
England will be entering this game with a well-balanced squad and has had some good recent success as well. They will be playing South Africa in a three-match ODI series before the Champions Trophy, and this should provide them with the ideal preparation for the big tournament. Though how successful they will be against Bangladesh in the tournament opener, depends on how well they are able to handle the pressure of expectation
Bangladesh has returned for this edition of the Champions Trophy at the expense of former champions West Indies, and this itself shows how much progress they have made as an ODI side. That they are the seventh ranked ODI side currently, ahead of not just West Indies but Pakistan as well, rams home the point that Bangladesh are here and they are here to compete.
Bangladesh will start their campaign against the hosts England in the first match of the tournament and though Bangladesh has really done well as an ODI unit for some time now, and they surely have the capability to beat any team on their day, but to defeat England in their own conditions is surely going to be difficult.
English conditions, with pace and bounce, will not exactly suit Bangladesh’s style of play. Though Bangladesh has a good pace attack, they like to play their cricket on low and slow surfaces, and the bouncy English surfaces will pose a tough challenge for them.
Bangladesh surely has some great players at their disposal. Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan will be expected to shepherd the batting and the captain Mashrafe Mortaza and young sensation Mustafizur Rehman would be expected to lead the bowling attack. These players will have to put in some special performances if Bangladesh is to have any chance of defeating the hosts.
Bangladesh has really improved as an ODI unit in the past couple of years, but now they need to jump to the next level. A strong performance against the home team in the Champions Trophy opener will surely bring them into the limelight, but to actually beat England might prove to be a little too much for them.
Bangladesh has definitely worked very hard to get to the position in the rankings where they are today, but beating England in their own backyard looks like too long a stretch. England have a very settled squad, they are playing at home and have been in very good ODI form recently, and all these factors give them an upper hand in this contest.