Stand-in England skipper Jos Buttler has declared Bangladesh the favourites for their three-match one-day series which gets underway with Friday’s tussle in capital city Dhaka.
Bangladesh, once viewed as the whipping boys of international cricket, have won their last six 50-over series on home soil, including victories over South Africa, India and Pakistan.
Ranked No7 in the International Cricket Council one-day rankings, Bangladesh beat England by 15 runs during last year’s World Cup, a defeat which knocked Peter Moores’s side out of the tournament and went some way to costing the ex-Lancashire coach his job.
England have won four of six one-day series since that defeat to Bangladesh in Adelaide, and Buttler believes the self-imposed tag of outsiders will suit his team as they continue their white-ball development.
“I’d say Bangladesh are favourites,” said Lancashire wicketkeeper-batsman Buttler. “They are very strong at home in their own conditions and you look at the recent successes they’ve had in the ODI series.
“We don’t mind being underdogs at all, that’s something that probably suits us.”
Uncapped Northamptonshire batsman Ben Duckett and new opener James Vince are set to feature in Friday’s clash, which is the subject of strict security given the ongoing threat of terrorism in Bangladesh.
Members of the Bangladeshi security forces conducted drills and evacuation procedures at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium on Thursday morning. Buttler, however, insists the provision of added security is far from unnerving.
“Everything has been in good order,” added Buttler. “Travel to and from the ground has been great for us although I’m sure it’s been a bit frustrating for the locals.
“Security has been great so far, I don’t think the guys have even mentioned it. That’s fantastic for us as the guys are very settled.”
Buttler is leading England’s one-day side during the tour after regular captain Eoin Morgan, along with opener Alex Hales, opted against travelling to Bangladesh amid concerns over personal safety.
The 26-year-old is at pains to point out his elevation to skipper is only a temporary promotion with Morgan set to return to the helm for the winter series in India and next year’s Champions Trophy on home soil.
“Hopefully I can continue Eoin’s success,” said Buttler. “It’s a great honour to captain here but I very much see myself as standing in. I want to take ownership of this series and be the captain of England who wins the ODI series in Bangladesh.
“It’s a fantastic moment to lead the side, and to walk out as captain is a bit surreal. I’m enjoying the challenge, I’ll take it in my stride and get on with the job.
“I’m learning as I go, and something I want to try and do is lead from the front with performance. This is a young squad, an exciting squad and it’s down to me to try and stand up.”