Reasons Why Bangladesh Can Win In England

There are some who think England can beat Australia this summer, and those who think that must have enough imagination to think that Bangladesh could beat England too.

The ODI matches in June realistically offer the best chance of success but If Bangladesh play to their undoubted potential, England could be under considerable pressure in the Tests. Taking English wickets quickly and not allowing the wicket-keeper and tailenders to make runs will be the key.

Late May/Early June at Lord’s and Chester-le-Street – seamer’s wickets a certainty. Pace and bounce not so important as the ability to shape and slide the ball away. Bangladesh have some slippery seamers – Mashrafe Mortaza, Tapash Baisya, Talha Jubair, Nazmul Hussain – who surprise even themselves on a regular basis with how good they are. England’s left-handers will keep Bangladesh’s slips interested and the right-handers will suffer more than a few lbw decisions.
Bangladesh’s batsmen will be intent on one thing alone – shot selection - and will not gift their wickets away as before. Dropping it short will pose no problems as they relish the cut and pull. 400 per innings is their target and they bat all the way down, Mohammad Rafique having made a century at No. 9 against the West Indies.
Ask around the circuit and a number of Bangladesh’s players are highly respected as having emerged as tough competitors in an environment which does not offer them anywhere near the support-system of other countries.
This is a new Bangladesh that will not self-destruct. If you look at their history -when they have fought, they have fought well.
Their key bowling strength, three left-arm spinners are unlikely to play together nor will they gain much purchase in the early summer conditions but they have penetration, discipline and variety and can complement the seamers by chipping in with crucial wickets.
For Bangladesh, England is the biggest target and has been since the day they became a Test-playing country. All energies are focussed on beating them. They will not be cowed or beaten by the situation and after taking on Tendulkar, Akhtar. Gilchrist, Muralitharan, Lara and Warne with some success over the years, have nothing to fear from England.
Even if England hadn’t suffered before – against Sri Lanka in 1984, and India in 1986 and New Zealand in 1999 when medium-fast pacemen complemented by spinners simply put the ball in the right place and flamboyant strokeplayers anchored by key batsmen hit the bad ball to the boundary – then you have to think England can be put under pressure again. No matter how hard they try against Bangladesh, they will not want to try as hard against them as they will against Australia. Feeling the pressure of having to win big and boldly, they could well self-destruct by playing inappropriately.
Complacency. England‘s biggest worry. Bangladesh will treat every ball as a matter of national honour. England will not.
Bangladesh even after last year’s Champions Trophy and England’s visit in 2003 will be a surprise package. No one has yet seen the best of them, and their best will impress.
Bangladesh have found their ‘attar jid’ – their heart’s fire. A nation and a world were on their backs up to last December. Then they overturned India and ran them close in the other two meetings. A nation and a world now support them whole-heartedly. Can there be anyone who doesn’t want them to beat England

Filed May 20 2005