Satisfying series victory for England
It was the least England expected against a Bangladesh side who showed flashes of promise but proved they still have plenty to learn. It was a satisfying result for Alastair Cook in what is still a banana-skin of a series, and the way he pounced upon a commemorative stump at the end of the final game in Chittagong showed just how much pride he took in securing a series whitewash, in his first serious outing as England captain.
On the evidence of the last game, Cook must know that Craig Kieswetter is Andrew Strauss' opening partner-in-waiting when Strauss returns to take over the captaincy. I remember a day in Taunton back in 2006 when I was chatting to the Somerset director of cricket Brian Rose. He spoke in gushing terms about a wicketkeeper/batsman he had in the second XI at the time. Kieswetter, then 18, was finishing his education at Millfield School, was a hard hitter of the ball, Rose said, and a handy gloveman too. Brian had a knowing glint in his eye, and now the wider public can see why.
Sterner tests than Bangladesh will come, that's for sure, but for now, it's exciting to think what lies ahead for the 22-year-old, and Somerset fans will surely have to get used to life with a little less Kieswetter.
Plenty has been written about Eoin Morgan, since he completed victory in the second one-day international with an astonishing unbeaten century. In the likeable Irishman, England have found a batsman with a cool head, an outrageous stroke player and, most importantly, a middle-order finisher who can calculate and pace his innings.
The cricket world got a glimpse of what he could do during an audacious half century against South Africa at the Champions Trophy in September, and his display in Dhaka confirmed his precocious talent. He will now pit himself against some of the world's top players at the IPL, and England will benefit from him honing his skills in the game's shortest format when it comes to the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean in May.
It was another disappointing series for Kevin Pietersen, who made scores of one, 18 and 22. We should wait until the Test series is over before too many judgements are made, but he will know only too well that the pressure is on like never before. He was returned to action (rather hurriedly it must be said) in the early part of the South Africa tour, and he is yet to return to the standards he has set throughout his career.
Alastair Cook celebrates England's win in Chittagong
While England continue to win, his poor scores can be carried. England need a firing KP by the time Pakistan visit in the summer. Having him back to something like his best at the World T20, before paternity kicks in, would help too.
Without Ryan Sidebottom or Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan carried himself and the attack highly competently in the final game of the series. His career-best 4-28 ensured he finished as England's leading wicket taker with eight from three matches. Elsewhere, fellow Yorkshireman Ajmal Shahzad showed himself to have good pace and Graeme Swann had another consistent series, reaping rewards with his attacking brand of off-spin (7 wickets at 17.42).
What the side needs now, and which was stated in no uncertain terms by coach Andy Flower after the Chittagong game, is a spinner to complement Swann and crucially, add variety. Flower identified a left-arm spinner, also an all-rounder. Samit Patel, he was asked? The Nottinghamshire all-rounder was dropped from the England team in March last year amid public criticism of his poor (or lack of) fitness ethic. He's been out in Adelaide this winter training at the Darren Lehmann Cricket Academy, and if ever a call to arms was put out by an England coach, this was it.
Patel will have a lot to prove to a number of people within the England camp if he's to get his chance again. But whilst his fitness has been a problem, his talent never has been. Adil Rashid, for all the variety that leg-spin can bring, is clearly not the ticket England are looking for, after his couple of winters carrying the drinks.
Looking at the series from Bangladesh's point of view, Tamim Iqbal's century in the opening ODI will be remembered for quite some time. It has long been a trait of Bangladesh batsmen to go for their shots early, often resulting in a collapse or inability to see out the overs. OK, Bangladesh were ultimately bowled out in that innings but Tamim's onslaught was one of sheer guts and flair. It was breathtaking, and he carried the innings to a respectable total. More Bangladesh batsmen need the ability to concentrate for longer periods, and this will be their biggest challenge come the Tests.
The army of spin bowlers at Bangladesh's disposal will always be their weapon on slow subcontinent pitches, but the country is yet to hunt out a real aggressor to come in behind the experienced Mashrafe Mortaza, who missed the ODIs for personal reasons, and who has been suffering fitness problems for some time now.
Ultimately, international cricket is a slow learning curve, especially for young players. And Bangladesh continue to learn.
So England have negotiated the one-dayers. Next up are the two Tests, and whilst Sidebottom has been sent home injured, the news on Broad and Graham Onions seems more positive ahead of the first Test, which starts next Friday. For Cook, this is where his captaincy will be most thoroughly judged. Two-nil? Again, the least England will expect.