The first Test match between England and Bangladesh will be played at the Lord's in London from the 27th of May. England will go into the Tests with supreme
confidence given their performances leading up to the games. They have entered
the finals of the T20 World Cup, and to add to that, they have also beaten Bangladesh
in every game on their tour of Bangladesh.
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On that tour of Bangladesh, they had played two Tests and three ODIs, and won
all five games rather comfortably, which means that the side has had a better
of the Bangladeshis even in conditions that have been very alien to them. How
does the Bangladeshi side adjust to the English conditions will be an interesting
point to ponder and with the Lord's ground making things difficult for most
touring sides, it cannot get worse for an under-confident Bangladesh side.
In the World T20, Bangladesh had lost both their games in the first round,
to Australia and Pakistan, and given that they are not great travellers outside
the sub-continent, there cannot be much hope.
However, the Bangladeshis could have some positives going their way. This includes
the fact that their opening batsmen, Tamim Iqbal and Imrul Kayes have
performed well as a pair in the past and this will be an opportunity for them
to take that step-up. The other positive to come out of this is that Jahurul
Islam had an excellent tour game against Surrey where he scored a century and
should be able to back the two up as an opener in case one of them is unfit
or out of form.
However, the onus will again depend on the senior pros like Mohammad Ashraful
and Shakib-al-Hasan. Ashraful has had some happy memories of this ground, but
his problem has always been his inability to keep his wits around him when required.
Rather surprisingly, Shakib al Hasan form has also taken a beating in
the last six months or so, especially after the load of captaincy has also been
included in his portfolio. He needs to get going with his batting as that would
be very important for the side in more ways than one. of course, there is his
bowling to back his batting as well, but with the spinners finding it difficult
to come to grips with the moist ball, things may not be as hunky-dory as it