Tuesday, November 13, 2018 | ePaper

West Indies set for two-Test clash with Bangladesh

  • Print
AFP, North Sound :
West Indies and Bangladesh commence a two-Test series on Wednesday with the hosts expected to continue the trend of greener, bouncier pitches and a pace attack seeking to put the visitors on the back foot from the outset.
Having dropped below the Bangladeshis in the Test rankings to number nine, there is additional incentive for Jason Holder's team to win the series which begins in Antigua and move back up to number eight at the expense of their Asian opponents.
With the second Test to follow at Sabina Park in Jamaica a week later, the tourists would have noted carefully the quality of the playing surfaces for the just-concluded three-Test series against Sri Lanka, which ended on a bowler-friendly pitch at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
The Sri Lankans fought back to achieve a series-levelling four-wicket win, the first time a day/night Test was played in the Caribbean and the first time that a team from Asia had ever won a Test match at that famed venue.
Without ace seamer Mustafizur Rahman, who is still recovering from a toe injury, Bangladesh lack the firepower to match what the West Indies are expected to unleash over the two matches.
Shannon Gabriel, who topped all bowlers in the Sri Lanka series with 20 wickets, including a record-breaking 13 in the second match in St Lucia, will spearhead a pace line-up that will also include Holder, who took nine wickets in the defeat at Bridgetown, and the experienced Kemar Roach.
While Devendra Bishoo will again fill the role of specialist spinner, it is felt that all-rounder Keemo Paul will get the nod over the incumbent Miguel Cummins for the fourth and final seamer's spot.
In contrast, Bangladesh are relying on the experience of Rubel Hossain to challenge what has proven to be a very vulnerable West Indies top-order batting. It remains to be seen if the uncapped Abu Jayed is given the opportunity to share the new ball in conditions which may actually be encouraging for the 24-year-old.
There is no doubt though that the Bangladeshis' main bowling strength at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium will rest in the spin department in the shape of captain and all-rounder Shakib al Hasan, off-break bowler Mehidy Hasan and off-spinning all-rounder Mahmudullah.
Shakib and Mahmudullah are among six players of the present Bangladesh squad with happy memories of their first visit to this part of the cricketing world in 2009 when they dominated the Tests and One-Day Internationals against a West Indies team severely depleted by a standoff between the premier players and the regional administrators.
Their last visit to the Caribbean though, in 2014, was a huge disappointment as the team led by Mushfiqur Rahim was no match for a full-strength home side.
This tour, which also incorporates three ODI's and three T20's, therefore represents an opportunity to show on foreign fields if they have really made meaningful progress after what has generally been a long and trying apprenticeship at the top level of international cricket.
Former captain Rahim, now relieved of wicket-keeping responsibilities, and opener Tamim Iqbal represent the fulcrum of the Bangladesh batting along with Shakib and Mahmudullah.
For the West Indies, the recall of opening batsman Devon Smith after three years off the international scene for the Sri Lanka series proved a failure and he is expected to make way in the final eleven for the first Test for Shimron Hetmyer to return at the number three spot. Kieran Powell is likely to move back up to open the batting with vice-captain Kraigg Brathwaite.
After they were routed for just 93 in the second innings in Barbados - their lowest-ever Test innings total at Kensington - the West Indies batting remains a source of major concern and could be exposed yet again by a varied Bangladesh attack that comes into this series confident that they have the quality to curb the Caribbean batsmen.
- Critical factor -
Whether their own batsmen can cope effectively with the West Indies pace battery is likely to be the critical factor over the two matches.
Teams: West Indies (probable) - Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wicketkeeper), Keemo Paul, Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel.
Bangladesh (probable) - Shakib al Hasan (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Liton Das (wicketkeeper), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Abu Jayed.

More News For this Category

Mehidy Hasan Miraz (right) of Bangladesh plays a shot while Zimbabwean Wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva looks on during the second day play of the            second Test between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Monday.

Mehidy Hasan Miraz (right) of Bangladesh plays a shot while Zimbabwean Wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva looks on during the second day play of the second Test between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Monday.

Mushfiq sets new record in 2nd Test

Wicket keeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim set the new record for becoming the first Bangladesh batsman to score two Test double centuries along with the highest individual innings by a Bangladesh

India win on last ball to sweep T20 series vs Windies

AP, Chennai :India got the benefit of a misfield on the last ball to scrape to a six-wicket victory over the West Indies in the third Twenty20 international and 3-0

Finch warns faltering batsmen of shake-up for India ODIs

AFP, Hobart :Australia's one-day batsmen are under mounting pressure to keep their places after a lacklustre series defeat to South Africa, captain Aaron Finch warned Monday, with a potential shake-up

Mominul Haque (left) and Mushfiqur Rahim running between wicket during the first day play of the second Test between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Sunday. Both batsmen hit century each on the day.

Mominul Haque (left) and Mushfiqur Rahim running between wicket during the first day play of the second Test between Bangladesh and Zimbabwe at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in the city's Mirpur on Sunday. Both batsmen hit century each on the day.

Mominul hits seventh Test ton

Dependable batsman Mominul Haque scored his seventh Test hundred against visiting Zimbabwe on the first day during the second and final Test at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium at Mirpur in

Mashrafe buys AL nomination form for coming polls

Bangladesh ODI cricket captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza has bought the Awami League nomination form for the upcoming national parliamentary elections.He picked up the form from Awami League General Secretary Obaidul

Chandimal out for two weeks with groin injury

Sri Lanka will be without regular captain Dinesh Chandimal for at least the next Test against England - starting on November 14 - as he has been ruled out for

South Africa snatch dramatic late victory over France

South Africa beat France 29-26 thanks to a dramatic last-minute try in torrential rain at the Stade de France on Saturday.Replacement hooker Mbongeni Mbonambi's touchdown after 85 minutes allowed the

Munaf Patel retires from all forms of cricket

Munaf Patel retires from all forms of cricket

2011 World Cup winning bowler Munaf Patel announced his retirement from all forms of the game on Friday. The 35-year old pacer, who made his international debut in March 2006