WINDIES TOUR OF BANGLADESH, 2018
Cricbuzz Staff •
Returning from injury, Tamim Iqbal smashed a hundred in the warm-up game. © Getty
There are certain things you should always avoid in cricket. Making predictions, banking on Pakistan to chase down a target on the final day of a Test, or writing off Windies in limited-overs cricket – you should just steer clear of these waters. That’s the kind of naivety that costs you dearly. Bangladesh, the hosts for the three-match ODI series, who humbled the visitors with ease in the preceding Test series, will be well aware of that. Windies lost the ODI series in India but managed to down Virat Kohli’s mighty line-up in a game after pulling off a tie. The Caribbean spunk may not give them consistency but it certainly makes them a side that can pull off surprises on their day.
Bangladesh won the series against Zimbabwe at home, a series they were always expected to bag, but their performance in the Asia Cup is something that’ll give the side much-needed confidence as they build to the 2019 World Cup. There are, however, slots that still need fixing. Tamim Iqbal is back from injury while Soumya Sarkar seems to have found lost form. Liton Das impressed with a ton against India in the Asia Cup final while Imrul Kayes buried Zimbabwe under runs. Tamim will slot back at the top without a doubt but the question remains who will open with him. Both Kayes and Das have runs under their belt while Bangladesh are likely to continue the experiment with Sarkar at No. 3.
Mohammad Mithun is being given an extended run to prove his credentials for a middle-order spot in the World Cup squad that’s crowded with already established names like Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahman and Mahmudullah. If the pressure of lack of runs for Mithun already wasn’t enough, there’s the pressure of being the link between the middle-order and the finishers. The three-match series will also be battle for him to hold on to his spot.
Bangladesh’s bowling front more or less looks settled for home conditions but the series will be played keeping in mind the tracks in England. Mohammad Saifuddin, if he can bag these opportunities, will save the think-tank plenty of time and will also make the third seamer position his own.
Windies are missing Jason Holder but that isn’t their only problem. Marlon Samuels, with 204 ODIs behind him, isn’t mostly up to the mark at the highest level. Keiran Powell is struggling for form while Chandrapaul Hemraj didn’t do much against India to inspire any kind of confidence. The dependable Ashley Nurse was consumed by a shoulder injury and the onus falls on usual suspects – Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Shai Hope and Rovman Powell – to produce the goods. They’ll be desperate for some kind of support from Keemo Paul, Fabien Allen and Kemar Roach while also hoping that Darren Bravo, returning to ODI squad after two years, is hungry enough to prove a point.
Bangladesh are a tough side to beat at home. India have found it out, South Africa have and so have New Zealand. A win will not only give Windies the much-needed boost ahead of the World Cup, it’ll go a long way to clear some massive doubts within the side.
What: Bangladesh vs Windies, 1st ODI, December 9, 01:00pm local time
Where: Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka
What to expect: The scores have been generally above 250 this year at this venue and it isn’t likely to change. The key for both sides will be how they bat in the middle overs. A full 100-over contest is on the cards with no weather hindrances expected.
Bangladesh: Expect the hosts to field all the big names – Tamim, Shakib, Mustafizur Rahman, Mashrafe Mortaza and Mehidy Hasan. And that will mean Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam and Abu Hider will have carry out the drinks duties.
Windies: Apart from Bravo’s return, the visitors will also see Carlos Brathwaite in the mix. Exciting prospect Oshane Thomas will be expected to add to the firepower while the question Windies need to answer is if they want to bank on Devendra Bishoo’s experience or on the left-arm spin of Fabian Allen.
What they said:
“We haven’t won an ODI series in a long time. The guys are upbeat and raring to go. No better opportunity to change it in Bangladesh. We have played some lovely cricket in India but we didn’t get the results that we wanted. A few series before the World Cup, it will be good to get the series win under our belt. It will give us confidence going into the World Cup also” – Rovman Powell
“Imrul got 349 runs against Zimbabwe and Tamim has come back to form. Liton Das got an 80-odd against Zimbabwe and not too long away, a hundred in the Asia Cup final. Soumya has got a hundred at No. 3. So there is a healthy and a good position to be in. I don’t know the final XI so don’t ask me” – Steve Rhodes
Bangladesh: Mashrafe Mortaza (c), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Mehidy Hasan, Nazmul Islam, Mohammad Mithun, Mohammad Saifuddin, Abu Hider Rony, Ariful Haque, Imrul Kayes.
Windies: Rovman Powell (c), Roston Chase, Devendra Bishoo, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Shai Hope, Carlos Brathwaite, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Fabian Allen, Kemar Roach, Sunil Ambris, Oshane Thomas.