Revenge is not on the mind of Jos Buttler as he leads England for the first time in today’s one-day international against Bangladesh.
It was the Tigers who inflicted one of the most painful defeats on England in recent times with a shock 15-run victory in Adelaide that sent Eoin Morgan’s men crashing out of last year’s World Cup and prompted much soul searching.
Morgan has presided over a stunning metamorphosis of the limited-overs sides and their fearless batting, in particular, has won plenty of admirers.
They go into the first ODI in Dhaka with an opportunity to set the record straight, but Buttler, who was England’s top-scorer with 65 in their last meeting against Bangladesh Down Under, does not see it like that.
He believes, however, that the tourists will be underdogs against a team that have won their last six ODI series on home soil against the likes of Pakistan, India and South Africa.
Buttler said: “There’s no real motivation for revenge. It’s going to be a fantastic challenge for us as a group, this journey that the ODI side has been on in the last two years; it’s a different one that lost to Bangladesh in the World Cup in Australia.
“It’s not going to be easy for us. The first match is very important, it’s important for us to lay down a good marker to start well and starting a series well is something we feel is very important. Bangladesh are very strong at home and you look at the recent successes they’ve had in ODIs. We don’t mind being underdogs – that’s something that probably suits us.”
Buttler is leading the side in the absence of Morgan, who, along with opening batsman Alex Hales, misses the tour due to their concerns over security.
The issue has been well-documented in the build-up and England have been given presidential levels of protection, with armed guards inside and outside their team hotel and a heavily-fortified convoy taking them to and from stadiums.
When the fleet nears the Shere Bangla National Stadium today, which hosts the first two ODIs and the second and final Test, the surrounding area will be blockaded to other vehicles while those attending can expect to be subjected to body searches.
On the eve of the first ODI, the venue saw an evacuation rehearsal inside the stadium led by the Rapid Action Battalion, the special security force of the Bangladesh police.
Buttler said: “It is very visual and I was actually watching and saw the pictures. It’s quite eye-opening and something you hope that we will never ever have to see – it’s a shock and it’s sad that it has to be there.
“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, the guys within the group haven’t even mentioned it.”
Buttler led England last winter in a T20 international against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates, but this will be his first experience in the longer format.
The 26-year-old, whose unbeaten 80 led England to a warm-up win over a Bangladesh Cricket Board Select XI earlier this week, said: “It’s a great honour to be captain, but I very much see myself as standing in.”
While Buttler was coy over the starting line-up, England are likely to name the same XI that triumphed over the BCB XI on Tuesday. That would mean an international debut for Northamptonshire batsman Ben Duckett at first drop, in place of the rested Yorkshire’s Joe Root, with James Vince opening and Jonny Bairstow at four.
Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza admitted he is wary of England’s batting prowess.
The Tigers will be looking for a seventh successive ODI series victory on home soil, having beaten the likes of Pakistan, India and South Africa recently.
They will be given a stiff test by a resurgent England in the three matches.
With Jason Roy, Ben Stokes and Buttler all big hitters, Mortaza knows the tourists have plenty of options who can take the game away from any side.
“Those who have come are very experienced,” he said. “Their domestic cricket is very strong and those who have come, they have played well. They have many match winners. Obviously it will be difficult to say who are the favourites. The series will be competitive.”
Mortaza expressed his gratitude for England going ahead with the trip, adding: “I would like to thank the England team and the ECB obviously.
“The boys are very excited to play against England and I am expecting the series to be very good.”
Bangladesh (possible): M Mortaza (capt), T Iqbal, I Kayes, S Rahman, S Al Hasan, M Rahim (wkt), Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Mosharraf Hossain, S Islam, T Ahmed.
England (possible): J Buttler (capt), J Roy, J Vince, B Duckett, J Bairstow, B Stokes, M Ali, C Woakes, D Willey, L Plunkett, A Rashid.
Umpires: Marais Erasmus (SA), Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid Saikat (Ban).
Third umpire: Aleem Dar (Pak).
Match referee: Javagal Srinath (Ind).