Vice-captain Joe Root admits it would be perilous for England to dismiss the potential of Bangladesh to spring a surprise during their two-Test series, which starts on Thursday in Chittagong.
England have won all eight of their previous red-ball series with Bangladesh, a team ranked ninth out of 10 sides in the International Cricket Council’s official world rankings.
Bangladesh did draw a one-match showdown with India and a two-Test series against South Africa during 2015 but have not played Test cricket since facing the Proteas in Dhaka last August. Regardless of the statistics, Root is not prepared to take victory for granted.
“It’s Test cricket. I don’t think you can ever take it lightly,” said Yorkshire’s Root. “They’re a very exciting side with some very dangerous players. We’re going to have to play really well to win.”
Root was rested for England’s fractious one-day series against Bangladesh which the tourists won 2-1, a hiatus which has left the prolific right-hander eager for the thrill of frontline action.
“You do need that bit of time to recover and stay fresh mentally and physically, but it’s been hard when you’re sat on the sofa watching the rest of the guys out there,” added Root.
“It keeps you hungry and makes you really excited about playing again when you get that opportunity.”
Seamer James Anderson, meanwhile, is set to miss the first Test of England’s tour of India next month with the shoulder injury which has ruled him out of the current Bangladesh series.