England and Bangladesh face off in both teams' second Super 12 match in Group 1 of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021.
In this era of T20 cricket, the stars of England and Bangladesh have played with and against each other in leagues around the world. But the national sides have never featured against one another in a men's T20I.
England, the No.1 ranked T20I side, thus come into their match against the Tigers in Abu Dhabi with some wariness, careful not to underestimate the challenge.
The teams have had contrasting runs so far in the tournament. England rolled West Indies over for 55 in their opening match and are looking for their second win of the Super 12 stage.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, were rocked in round one by Scotland before they made it to the Super 12, where they lost their first match to Sri Lanka despite posting a strong total. Another loss will make their hopes of progressing to the next round tricky.
They are, however, upbeat about their chances. Ottis Gibson, the Bangladesh coach, worked with England a few years ago and is especially familiar with their "positive" approach. He has been using that knowledge to remind the Bangladesh players to stay calm and execute their plans.
"The message is not to panic, understand that you are going to get hit," he said. "You might bowl a good ball and get hit because that's their mentality, but they also give you opportunities to take wickets."
Bangladesh went with the spin of Nasum Ahmed instead of the pace of Taskin Ahmed in their match against Sri Lanka. While Nasum's left-arm spin might match up well against England's big-hitting openers, they may return to Taskin for this match if the surface favours pace. The focus will continue to be on their batting in the Powerplay, which has been patchy.
Bangladesh probable XI: Mohammad Naim, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah (capt), Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan (wk), Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman
England could choose to go with an unchanged side. Mark Wood is fit and available for selection, and England might be tempted to include his express pace instead of a batter.
England probable XI: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (wk), Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Tymal Mills
Moeen Ali: England's spin-bowling all-rounder was Player of the Match against West Indies for his 2/17. He is coming off a successful IPL and is high on confidence. He could be effective against Bangladesh's left-handers.
Mustafizur Rahman: The Bangladesh left-arm seamer has six wickets in the tournament so far. While he went wicketless in the last couple of games and has struggled with his lines at times, he remains a threat with his variations. His angles and his cutters could be vital against the marauding England batters.
Captaincy Pick - Shakib Al Hasan
The Bangladesh all-rounder has to be the top captaincy pick for this match given his phenomenal form in the T20 World cup, with both bat and ball. Shakib has scalped 11 wickets and scored 118 runs in four matches played so far.
He may have played only one T20I in UAE but he has a bowling strike rate of 17.1 in 61 T20Is in similar conditions in Asia. While the southpaw couldn’t fire with the bat in the last game, he delivered with the ball, and that consistency is why he is a clear choice for captain.
Must-have - Jos Buttler
England's wicket-keeper-batter has a healthy batting average of 32 in 73 T20I innings. In 2021, Jos Buttler has averaged 57.3 in nine T20Is so far. Add to that the points that he will pick up doing his duties behind the stumps, and that is why he is a must-have in your fantasy team against Bangladesh.
A win for England will consolidate their place at the top of the Group 1 table and consign Bangladesh to the second-last spot. If Bangladesh win, there will be five teams on two points each.
What they said
Jos Buttler, England batter: "We know the challenges we'll face. We've played against them lots in 50-over cricket. We know they are a dangerous side. They have got a lot of experience in T20 cricket as well, some very good players playing quite a specific style that is quite unique to them. We focus obviously and try to plan for the opposition but at the same time we are focusing on ourselves, trying to get our level of intensity to the place it needs to be."
Ottis Gibson, Bangladesh coach: "We know that England are a very powerful line-up, and we know that we have to be on our A game if we're going to really challenge them and ultimately win the game. We know that they're going to come out hard, but we know that they also give you chances."