AT the end of a competitive one-day series and a tough warm-up match against a second string side, England will have come away with plenty to ponder ahead of the first Test match, which starts on Friday.
The first thing that the selectors and captain Alastair Cook will have learned is that nothing should be taken for granted. Although they are not the most feared of Test sides, Bangladesh are still a tough outfit, especially at home, and England are going to have to show their mettle if they are to come away with reputation intact.
This week’s three-day warm-up game with Bangladesh A has given the selectors plenty of food for thought when picking the side for Friday.
Jonathan Trott’s tremendous century all but guaranteed his place in the side after a sticky period of late, while James Tredwell is also knocking on the door for a first Test start after his eight wickets in Chittagong.
The decision, however, will rest on the fitness of seamers Stuart Broad and Graham Onions. Broad, in particular, brings a balance to the England side which they will want to keep as much as possible, and that will probably determine whether Tredwell starts in a two-pronged off-spin attack with Graeme Swann.
For me, conditions suit him perfectly, and I would give the lad a go.
True, Bangladesh are no Australia, but, like in all sport, winning breeds confidence and if England can come away from these two Tests, and the two in the home series in May, unbeaten, then that will bode well for the busy summer ahead.
ANDY’S ENGLAND TEST XI
Alastair Cook (capt), Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Paul Collingwood, Ian Bell, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Tredwell, Ajmal Shahzad, Graham Onions