Jos Buttler is excited by the prospect of welcoming 18-year-old all-rounder Rehan Ahmed to the England white-ball side.
England, who begin a three-match series against Bangladesh on Wednesday in Dhaka, are winless in their last four ODI series but have often been unable to field their best XI as Tests and T20s have relegated the 50-over format to the bottom of the priority list.
While Joe Root and Harry Brook are unavailable because of Test duties and several more gave precedence to the Pakistan Super League, that presents opportunities to Will Jacks and Ahmed.
Jacks has flown in from New Zealand, arriving in the Bangladesh capital on Saturday to replace the injured Tom Abell, and could make his ODI debut this week. So, too, could teenage sensation Ahmed, who took a seven-wicket match haul on his Test bow against Pakistan in December.
England’s captain was enthusiastic when asked about Ahmed and believes any interaction with fellow leg-spinner Adil Rashid will be fundamental for his development.
“Rehan’s a really exciting talent. He’s still a very young man – just a teenager. We’re excited about his development and where we think he can go and it’s great to have him in and around the England set-up,” he said.
“Someone like Adil Rashid has been such a star performer for us for a long period of time, Rehan getting to spend time with him and discuss bowling and watching each other bowl will be a huge benefit to him and a big step in his development.
“We’re really excited to have someone with so much talent, not just with the ball, with the bat as well. We’re looking forward to watching him develop and hopefully turning himself into a brilliant international cricketer.”
Buttler: Bangladesh series will be “very tough”
Buttler believes facing in-form Bangladesh at home is “exactly the kind of challenge we need” ahead of the World Cup in India.
The three-match one-day international series starting on Wednesday in Dhaka is England’s last offering in the format until September, when they will be fine-tuning preparations for the defence of their 50-over World Cup crown.
Buttler accepts England have struggled in the past on subcontinent wickets, which are typically slow and low, and doesn’t want to waste an opportunity to learn in conditions that could resemble what they will face in India in October.
Bangladesh have been in impressive form at home, winning 12 out of 13 series’ at home since the 2015 World Cup, including beating India 2-1 in December.
Their only loss was in 2016 against India, led for the first time by Buttler, who is expecting another hard-fought battle on surfaces where they have struggled in the past.
“It will be a great challenge for us, Bangladesh are very tough to beat in their home conditions, they’ve recently beaten India here,” said Buttler.
“We only have these matches and then don’t play again until September just before the World Cup. All our preparation is geared towards that World Cup and these are the conditions that will probably be the closest that we can get to playing in India.
“This is exactly the kind of challenge we need, with the World Cup not too far away we can test ourselves against conditions that we as a side find the hardest. It’s going to be a great measure of where we are as a team.”