Bangladesh vs England will finally come to fruition when the first one-day international takes centre-stage in Dhaka on Friday. After a lot of deliberation, England decided to tour Bangladesh for a limited-overs and Test series, and this 1st ODI will be a sign of what to expect from the rest of the tour.
When it comes to modern one-day cricket, they do not make them more formidable at home than Bangladesh. Such has been their rise in coloured-clothing cricket that no team is a safe bet for a win against them at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
With the crowd cheering on their home team, even when hope looks lost, Bangladesh have gone about setting a wonderful record at their own backyard – when they play England, they will target a seventh straight home series win.
As good a team as Bangladesh might be at home, though, no team have improved more, over the past year-and-a-half, than England. The English have been a team transformed after their meek exit in the 2015 World Cup, a tournament in which Bangladesh beat them, playing a brand of cricket that everyone loves to see, with Eoin Morgan leading the side brilliantly.
Morgan, however, will not be present for this series against Bangladesh, after pulling out due to security fears, leaving Jos Buttler to take up the captaincy mantle.
One of the best wicketkeeper-batsmen in the game in limited-overs cricket, there will be a lot of expectation on Buttler to not just lead by example with runs but also to bring his captaincy skills to the fore.
"It's not going to be easy but it's going to be a fantastic challenge for us as a group," Buttler told reporters. "This journey that the ODI side has been on in the last two years, it's a different side to the one that lost to Bangladesh in the World Cup in Australia.
"Conditions here are going to be tough. Bangladesh are very strong at home and you look at recent successes they've had in ODI series, but we don't mind being underdogs at all – that's something that probably suits us."
Buttler believes winning the 1st ODI is crucial if England are to end Bangladesh's strong run at home, especially since this is just a three-match series.
"The first match is very important for us to lay down a good marker," the swashbuckling batsman added. "When we turn up, we expect everyone to be fit, firing on all cylinders and putting in a very good performance.
"We've looked at the opposition but the big strength of England cricket in all formats of the game now is we look at ourselves, our strengths, what we do well and we'll focus a lot on ourselves and what we can bring."
What this match, hopefully, brings is a cracker of a contest between two teams who have only gone one way in limited-overs cricket in recent times.
Where to Watch Live
Bangladesh vs England first ODI match is set to begin at 2.30pm local time (2pm IST, 9.30am BST, 4.30am ET). TV and live streaming information is below.
India: TV: Star Sports 4 and Star Sports HD4. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
Bangladesh: TV: GTV.
UK: TV: Sky Sports 2 and Sky Sports HD2. Live Streaming: Sky Go.
USA, Canada: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.
Middle East: TV: OSN Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Sports Cricket Play.