England begin their campaign to win the ICC Champions Trophy against the side that knocked them out of the 2015 World Cup – Bangladesh.
The Three Lions were humiliated at the competition two years ago, suffering an exit at the group stage as they lost their must-win clash against the Tigers following hammerings at the hands of New Zealand and Australia.
However, the defeat proved to be a turning point in England’s approach to one-day cricket, which has resulted in Eoin Morgan’s side being considered the leading contenders for the crown.
Following their poor start to their last 50-over tournament, the Three Lions will be determined to get off to a winning effort this time around, although Mashrafe Mortaza’s men will present a challenge.
The two sides battled out a close series last winter during England’s tour of the subcontinent, but the Three Lions just managed to edge out Bangladesh, winning the final match by four wickets.
On home soil, Morgan will be hopeful that the victory will be straightforward for his team to ensure that life does not become overly difficult in their bid to emerge from Group A.
England have been in good form of late, bar their collapse against South Africa in the third ODI on Monday that cost them the opportunity for a third series whitewash on the bounce.
We’ll now break down the latest betting odds for the Champions Trophy opener as the Three Lions pursue a winning start to the competition.
England’s Top Batsman
The Three Lions had a day to forget against South Africa at Lord’s on Monday. Wayne Parnell and Kagiso Rabada ripped through the line-up to reduce them to 20-6 – the most wickets to have fallen in a five-over spell in the history of the ODI game.
England were spared humiliation by a fine innings from Jonny Bairstow and an unbeaten 37 from debutant Toby Roland-Jones, but it was not enough to save the Three Lions from a humbling loss.
Those two players are not likely to feature against Bangladesh, leaving the players that failed in the defeat to atone for their mistakes. Jason Roy scored just 13 runs in the entire series against the Proteas and will be feeling the pressure from Bairstow to keep his place at the top of the order.
The 26-year-old has been a consistent performer for the Three Lions in their resurgence over the past two years. He made a major breakthrough last summer in the series against Sri Lanka, scoring two hundreds to guide England to a comfortable 2-0 win.
He remained solid through the winter, but since his return to English soil from the IPL he has struggled immensely. Roy needs a knock to alleviate the strain on his place in the side and on his home ground at The Oval he should be able to rise to the occasion to find his peak form once again.
Backing the opener at odds of 7/24.50+3503.503.50-0.29 with SkyBet to top score for Morgan’s men to get their tournament off to the perfect start is the option to take for the contest.
Bangladesh’s Top Batsman
Tamim Iqbal proved his form ahead of the series with a fine century against Pakistan in his side’s warm-up contest in their narrow defeat at Edgbaston. He previously made 65 against New Zealand, producing a flowing innings to top score for his team, once again in a losing effort.
The 28-year-old has an abundance of experience, making 169 appearances for the Tigers during his 10-year ODI career. He has a decent average of 33.43 and eight centuries, including one against England that he made in Dhaka seven years ago.
He will be vital at the top of the innings to get his side off to a fast start. England’s batting line-up will be racking up the runs so the 28-year-old either needs to set the tone or provide a strong response for the Tigers. Iqbal has the ability to do that with the propensity to strike the ball over the rope and he will need all of that power to master the Three Lions’ attack.
Mortaza is counting on one of his most experienced batsman to lead the way for his team. With young players in and around him in the order he needs to fire otherwise the Tigers have little chance of competing with the big guns in Group A.
Backing Iqbal to top score for Bangladesh in the opener at odds of 3/14.00+3003.003.00-0.33 with PaddyPower is the best option to take given his form and that he will not be overawed by the occasion.
Chris Woakes has been one of the rising stars of English cricket over the last two years in Test and ODIs.
His form yielded a contract from the IPL where he performed well on a consistent basis for the Kolkata Knight Riders before he returned for the Three Lions, with a four-wicket outing in their win over South Africa in their opening match of the series.
The 28-year-old added additional pace to his game in a bid to improve and the results have been remarkable since, with his average tumbling in the Test arena along with his ODI statistics.
His recent form has been outstanding and was one of the few players to thrive in India, taking six wickets in England’s series defeat. Woakes was even better against the West Indies before he set off to the IPL where he maintained his high standards.
England will be expecting a lot from their primary seamer in the competition and he will have the perfect opportunity to enhance his reputation by leading the Three Lions to glory. Starting strongly will be the key, and at odds of 13/27.50+6506.506.50-0.15 with 32Red he is good value to be the top bowler in the match.
England will be desperate to atone for their poor performance in their defeat to South Africa in the third ODI to make a statement for their intentions in the Champions Trophy.
The Three Lions have the quality to overwhelm Al-Hasan’s side on home soil and should be able to put them to the sword with relative ease following Bangladesh’s drubbing at the hands of India.
The Tigers did play England close in the series in their home country, but the contest should be a different prospect in English conditions – with Morgan’s men cantering to the victory.
As a result, backing the Three Lions to triumph at odds of 21/1001.21-4760.21-4.760.21 with MarathonBet is the option to go for in this contest.
England To Beat Bangladesh
1st June 2017
Jason Roy To Be England’s Top Batsman
1st June 2017
Tamim Iqbal To Be Bangladesh’s Top Batsman
1st June 2017
Chris Woakes To Be Top Bowler
1st June 2017
Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.
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