Big picture – England’s Super League ends
The Super League, the qualifying process for the 2023 World Cup in India, launched in 2020 with the lofty, noble aim to “raise the stakes of bilateral 50-over games”, according to the ICC at the time.
The idea was simple enough. World Cup qualification had generally been decided on the opaque rankings system. Commercially-driven boards had no competitive incentive to schedule ODI series evenly, so top teams scheduled long series which were largely devoid of context against one another, rarely deigning to play emerging nations.
For Ireland, South Africa and Sri Lanka – who, along with West Indies, are jostling to avoid June’s qualification tournament in Zimbabwe by securing the final automatic World Cup spot – the final months of the Super League represent a vital opportunity.
“Since each point matters, there will be no dead rubbers and teams will always have to be at their very best,” the ICC said in 2020. Monday’s game in Chattogram is a direct riposte.
Bangladesh LLLWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight: Litton Das and Rehan Ahmed
Team news: Will Buttler rest himself?
Bangladesh (possible): 1 Tamim Iqbal (capt), 2 Litton Das, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), 5 Shakib Al Hasan, 6 Mahmudullah, 7 Afif Hossain, 8 Mehidy Hasan Miraz, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Taijul Islam, 11 Ebadot Hossain/Hasan Mahmud.
Reece Topley is likely to play for the first time in the series, with England rotating their seam attack throughout the tour. Will Jacks has been ruled out of the rest of the tour with a quad injury; with no spare batter in the squad, England will change their balance somewhat.
England (possible): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Phil Salt, 3 Dawid Malan, 4 James Vince, 5 Jos Buttler (capt/wk), 6 Moeen Ali, 7 Chris Woakes, 8 Rehan Ahmed, 9 Jofra Archer, 10 Adil Rashid/Saqib Mahmood, 11 Reece Topley.
Pitch and conditions: Expect it to spin again
Stats and trivia
- Jason Roy’s hundred on Friday was his 12th in ODIs, taking him joint-third in England’s all-time list. He is one behind Eoin Morgan, and four behind Joe Root.
- Shakib Al Hasan needs four wickets to reach 300 in men’s ODIs. He would be the first Bangladesh bowler to reach that landmark, and the third left-arm spinner after Sanath Jayasuriya and Daniel Vettori.
- England have only played seven men’s fixtures across formats in 2023 but have already used 27 players, the joint-most of any team this year.
- Friday’s victory saw England leapfrog New Zealand at the top of the Super League table. They could extend their lead to 15 points on Sunday.
“There’s nothing called an automatic choice. Nobody is an automatic choice. I will not be in the team if I am not performing regularly, even though I am the captain. A player’s performance graph will go up and down all the time, but we believe he will turn his form around.”
Tamim Iqbal has faith in Mustafizur Rahman despite his slow start to the series.
“He’s impressed everybody, not just me. The whole team have said how well he’s bowled. He’s bowling quickly, hitting good lengths. In the first game, he showed our seam-bowling group where to bowl, really.”
Mark Wood says that Taskin Ahmed has left a positive impression on England’s squad.
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98
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