Despite Bangladesh’s impeccable record at home in recent times, England would have been confident of the doing well in the visiting nation. After all, their own one-day record has been hugely impressive in the aftermath of the 2015 World Cup debacle. However, the pull out of big players due to security fears evened out a few things. The Englishmen arrived in Bangladesh without the services of skipper Eoin Morgan and opener Alex Hales while Joe Root was rested. The fact that England managed to pull off a 2-1 in spite of all these was commendable.
It is never easy playing under a new captain for just one particular series. And here, the case was even more complicated for the leader too had men to deal with, who he may not be too accustomed to. But, England came out with flying colours. But, for the second game, when Bangladesh managed to hamper their momentum, they were constantly ahead of the hosts. The altercation between the players of the two sides heated up things for sure. But, it was England who raised their game under pressure, to break the hosts’ golden run at home.
As mentioned earlier, England were forced to arrive in Bangladesh with a number of rookies. And, the performance of the youngsters was the biggest gain for the visitors. In the first match, when things seemed all but lost, Jake Ball, who had waited for his debut for quite a while, stole the thunder from under Bangladesh with a scintillating five-wicket haul. Ben Duckett, another debutant, also put his hand up and impressed, with a crucial fifty in the opening game, and another one in the do-or-die match. Considering he was filling the big shoes of Root at three, it was a big positive.
This series was all about grabbing opportunities for England. And Sam Billings came up with the goods, replacing opener Jason Roy in the final match, after the latter was ruled out. Billings came up with a well-compiled 62, which set up the chase nicely for England in the game. The fact that these newcomers came up with a solid show should augur well for England as they know they have players to fall back on if needed in the future. Adil Rashid has been around the scene for a few years, but the 10 wickets he picked up the series will definitely do good for his confidence.
As captain and vice-captain, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes had massive roles to play, and both raised their game according to the occasion. Stokes smashed a brilliant hundred in the opening game, and made a key 47 in the final match. He was also economical will the ball. Buttler also succeeded with the bat, with two fifties in three matches. His 63 from 48 in the opening encounter was a whirlwind effort. England should be extremely pleased with their overall effort. They arrived in Bangladesh under a cloud, and have lifted themselves.
--By A Cricket Analyst