Every now and again The Village Cricketer is sent material for consideration to include on the post. Sometimes its complete crap, so we don’t include it, on other occasions its worth using. A corporate giant has coughed up for this one, hiring pro cricket writer Philip Oliver, yes that Philip Oliver, to spread the word. His opinions are not necessarily shared by me, but in the spirit of fair play and all that I’ll give you some perspective. Enjoy…

Much ink has been spilled over England’s decision to rest Andrew Strauss from their tour of Bangladesh.

Many suggest that the England captain should lead his team at every opportunity, but the real problem with Strauss’ exclusion is not the moral implications of an absent leader, but the fact it could leave England exposed.

The squad will depart for Bangladesh not only without its captain, but also without its best strike bowler as James Anderson is also being given a rest. None touring squad have played international cricket in Bangladesh before, so the absence of key players could be significant.

Even though the cricket betting makes England strong favourites, Bangladesh should not be taken lightly. Despite their recent Test series defeat by India they are an improving team whose 2-0 win in West Indies last year should not be written off as a victory against weakened opposition.

They have a genuine Test all-rounder in new skipper Shakib Al-Hasan and he is capable of turning matches with both bat and ball. His slow left arm bowling will play an important role in the series.

Fellow spinning all-rounder Mahmudullah was excellent against India, maintaining a fine start to his Test career. His form suggests he can join his skipper as a frontline player in both disciplines. At the same time, talented young wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim and swashbuckling opening batsman Tamim Iqbal both made batting breakthroughs against India, striking their best Test scores.

All these players are just as dangerous in ODI cricket and England are perhaps more vulnerable in the shorter form of the game, the online sports betting odds certainly suggest this is the case. With next year’s World Cup being played in the subcontinent Strauss might have missed an opportunity to gain valuable captaining experience. Worse still, England could come unstuck on this tour.