England have won the toss and have decided to bowl first in their Champions Trophy opener against Bangladesh at the Oval.
It’s the clash of two of the most improved ODI sides since the 2015 World Cup, as hosts England will look to affix their favourites tag with a win against Bangladesh in Group A.
England will feel that too often have the Bengal Tigers got the better of them in recent years. The so-called minnows beat them in the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, and pulled off a remarkable victory to draw the Test series in October last year.
Their experienced stalwarts remain an integral part of their side, including Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah and Mahsrafe Mortaza. They’ve won more matches in the past two years than India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. They are going to be a difficult side to beat.
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Yet, England go into this tournament as the hosts and the favourites, and it’s not difficult to see why. A recent series victory over the Proteas added to what has been a rapid rise since their early World Cup exit two years ago. They’ve posted more 300-plus and 400-plus scores than any other side, with the likes of Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler contributing to devastating effect.
It’s a predictable line-up for the English, despite a few players carrying injury niggles. It’s been revealed that Stokes will be fit to bowl, and Chris Woakes has come through a quad issue that kept him out of two matches against the Proteas. For Bangladesh, Rubel Hussain won an individual battle to make the 1st XI.
ENGLAND: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Chris Woakes, 9 Liam Plunkett, 10 Mark Wood 11 Jake Ball
BANGLADESH: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Irul Kayes 4 Mushfiqur Rahim, 5 Shakib Al Hasa, 6 Sabbir Rahman, 7 Mahmudullah 8 Mosaddek Hossain, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
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Photo: Gareth Copley/Gallo Images