Five takeaways from the England-Bangladesh series
A glance through some of the positives from the One Day series in Bangladesh.
A near second string top order guided England to a fantastic series win in Bangladesh, thus ending the Tiger's streak of six successive ODI series wins at home. The enviable home record has come against top tier nations, but England continued their aggressive ways that began post the 2015 World Cup, and prevailed over a determined Bangladesh side.
When England came here without Alex Hales, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan and lost out Jason Roy for the deciding ODI, they were forced to accommodate a totally new top 4 for the deciding One Day Match.
Sam Billings and Ben Duckett, two of those four, underlined England's reserve strength that looked all exhausted a year and a half back. While Morgan is assumed to return to the helm for the tour of India, it will be reassuring for England to know that they have a bunch of talented youngsters on the bench.
Bangladesh might be disappointed with the loss, but would do well to understand that they lost to a freakishly strong, upcoming ODI team. They had their own bright spots in the series, not least in the performance of Imrul Kayes, but also vitally promising signs from Nasir Hossain and Sabbir Rahman.
Let us have a look at some of the takeaways from this short bilateral series:
#1 Bangladesh's enviable home record broken
It is surprising that a team in the lower half of the ODI rankings has such an enviable record at home in the past year. The win-loss ratio for Bangladesh since the 2015 World Cup in ODIs stand at 2.60. Only Australia, New Zealand and South Africa have better ratios since the World Cup.
Bangladesh have won 13 of their last 18 matches at home with series wins against Pakistan, India, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. They also whitewashed Zimbabwe at home right before the 2015 World Cup making it six successive series wins at home before this loss against England.
While they would take heart from the fact that England have been playing some exceptional cricket themselves, Bangladesh surely need an inspection or two in the bowling front. Although their premium pace bowler, Mustafizur, was unavailable, they do not have great backup options. Bangladesh will look to up their game to remain above Pakistan and West Indies in the ODI rankings.