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26-May-2010 05:12:00 GMT
England v Bangladesh 1st Test, Lord's

Pride at Stake For Bangladesh in Lord's Opener

London: Bangladesh have another chance to confound critics of their Test status when they face England in the first of a two-match series starting at Lord's here on Thursday.

Since their promotion to the five-day format a decade ago, the Asian side have won just three out of a possible 66 matches and lost all six of their Tests with England, including two in Bangladesh earlier this year.

But they did ensure that both of those games went into the fifth day.

However, hopes they might perform a similar feat at Lord's or Old Trafford, where the second and final Test starts a week on Friday, suffered a blow when they lost to the England Lions by nine wickets in Derby last week.

Jahurul Islam, with an unbeaten 58 off 153 balls in the second innings, was the only Bangladeshi batsman to pass fifty in the match.

Bangladesh, coached by former South Australia captain Jamie Siddons, can call on several fine spinners, but that will count for little if the batsmen cannot make England's bowlers work for their wickets.

"We have a very good spin attack, so we will fight with our spinners and if our batsmen do well, it all depends on our batsmen," Jahurul told reporters at Lord's on Tuesday. "If we play a good first innings and bat for three or four sessions, hopefully it can be a very good match for us.

Bangladesh will hope to have their captain Shakib Al Hasan fit following a bout of chickenpox while opening batsman Tamim Iqbal is also expected to play despite a longstanding wrist injury.

This match will be an important one for current skipper Andrew Strauss, who opted out of the Bangladesh tour and missed out on England's ICC World Twenty20 triumph because he no longer plays that form of the game.

Strauss, returning on his Middlesex home ground, is set to be joined by two of his county colleagues in the absence of ICC World Twenty20 skipper Paul Collingwood, who has a shoulder injury, and rested paceman Stuart Broad.

Their places are set to be taken by the Middlesex duo of Eoin Morgan, in what would be a Test debut for the former Ireland batsman, and Steven Finn, who made his Test bow in Bangladesh.

Jahurul was buoyed by the absence of two of England's regulars, saying: "Collingwood is a very important player for England in the middle order and Stuart Broad is the best Test bowler for England at the moment, so it's good for us."

Morgan had made his name as a Twenty20 and one-day batsman and Jahurul added: "Eoin is a very good player but it's better for us because he plays shots and that will give us chances. Collingwood plays very long innings."

For England, as is often the case in the home season preceding an Ashes tour, a big challenge will be focusing on the task at hand.

This is something that affects fans at all levels as Morgan discovered when he met British Prime Minister David Cameron at a Downing Street reception for the ICC World Twenty20 side on Monday.

Team news

Andrew Strauss, 33. Left-handed opening batsman, 5,436 runs @ 43.48. Captained England to Ashes win over Australia last year after taking over from Kevin Pietersen. Returns to the side after missing the series in Bangladesh and the successful Twenty20 campaign in the Caribbean.

Squad from Alastair Cook, Andrew Strauss (captain), Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Eoin Morgan, Matt Prior (wk), Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson, Steven Finn, Ajmal Shazhad.

Bangladesh Shakib Al Hassan, 23. Left-handed batsman and slow, orthodox left-arm spinner, 1,127 runs @ 33.14, 67 wickets @ 31.82. Talented all-rounder, currently ranked number one in one-day internationals.

Squad from Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Shamsur Rahman, Mohammad Ashraful, Shakib Al Hasan (captain), Junaid Siddique, Jahurul Islam, Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Naeem Islam, Abdur Razzak, Shahadat Hossain, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Mahbubul Alam, Robiul Islam.

Pitch and conditions
Lord's will stage three tests this year for only the second time in the ground's 195-year history, including a match between Australia and Pakistan. Capacity 30,000. Fine and sunny for the first two days with showers developing over the weekend.

Stats & trivia

  • England have won each of their six tests against Bangladesh since 2003.

Match facts
May 27-31, 2010
Start time 11:00 local (10:00 GMT)

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