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|Shakib Al Hasan||12||18||2||0||66.67|
|Shakib Al Hasan||27.0||2||71||2||2.63|
|Shakib Al Hasan||0||2||0||0||0.00|
The recently concluded series between the West Indies and Sri Lanka was very low key. Test cricket does not have the biggest stadium audiences in the Caribbean and the difference in times between the two countries meant that the TV audience was pretty small as well. As Test Cricket does so often, it surprised everyone by producing a compelling contest between the two sides that would have gladdened the heart of every test match supporter.
The upcoming test series between the West Indies and Bangladesh will have many of the same challenges ahead of it and we hope that the quality of cricket can once again justify these kinds of contests.
There have been six previous test series between the West Indies and Bangladesh, out of which the West Indies have won five. Bangladesh, though, is a hugely improved side and will have nothing but victory on its minds in this series.
An incredible test series against Sri Lanka where the West Indies were within sights of a series victory up until the last session being played would have filled the hosts with confidence. Of course, it is important to remember that Bangladesh is no longer a pushover and is equally as good, if not better, than Sri Lanka.
West Indies built their success in the test series around its bowling. It was very good to see that the surfaces had a little bit more life in them than we had gotten used to and we can only hope this continues.
Bowlers like Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Jason Holder, and Miguel Cummins will enjoy a lively surface while bowling to the Bangladeshi batsmen. With his express pace and incredible ability to bowl long spells at sustained pace, Shannon Gabriel is going to be the main threat to the Bangladeshi batsmen.
All of the pace bowlers, though, must try and come hard at the Bangladeshi’s. They don’t really like the ball nipping around or coming at their throats so the West Indies can use that plan of action as its first option.
Jason Holder’s form with both the bat and ball adds a lot of stability to the West Indies side as well making them even more dangerous. While the bowling looks pretty good for the West Indies, its batting is still fragile.
The Bangladeshi’s have some decent bowlers that can exploit any conditions offered to them and so the West Indies must be careful.
Shane Dowrich emerged as the spine of West Indies batting in the lasts series and his role in the middle order will be crucial. Top-order batters like Powell, Braithwaite, Smith, and Chase must find a way to contribute in a more meaningful manner otherwise the West Indies will struggle to close out matches.
Jason Holder was the second highest run-getter in their last test series and while that is good for Holder, the other West Indian batsmen would be disappointed with their performances.
Kraigg Brathwaite, Devon Smith, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Jason Holder, Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel.
For Bangladesh to progress in world cricket, it must start winning test series or at least matches against the more established teams regularly. The West Indies have regressed remarkably from their heights a couple of decades back and is no longer a place where teams shiver to come.
In fact, it is one of the low hanging fruits of overseas tour victories.
Bangladesh comes into this test match on the back of some good limited overs performances. They have also started to play well in the longest format of the game, at least in home conditions.
There is no question about the fact that Bangladesh will be tested. Their batsmen have rarely done well away from home and the onus will be on their senior players to lead the way. Tamim Iqbal, Mahmudullah, and Shakib Al Hasan got runs in the warm-up game and that is an encouraging sign. The others, though, like Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mominul Haque, and Liton Das have to take their chances as well.
On paper, this Bangladeshi batting lineup is not bad at all. It is only a question of application and making sure they handle the pace bowling of the West Indians with maturity.
A test match is about picking 20 wickets and this is where Bangladesh has struggled in the past. When they go abroad, their spinners are rendered toothless and their fast bowlers do not have the skill to pick 20 wickets consistently.
This time, though, players like Abu Jayed, Rubel Hussain, and Shaiful Islam have a little bit of an X-factor about them. These bowlers know that the West Indian batting is not what it was and can be rolled over.
Even Sri Lanka, missing some of its best players, was able to consistently put the West Indian batting under pressure.
Bangladesh will go into this match knowing that it has a good opportunity to make history. It will not be easy but then nothing ever worth doing is.
Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mominul Haque, Mushfiqur Rahim, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Abu Jayed, Kamrul Islam.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
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A few showers have been forecast throughout the test match but the hope is that we should not be losing too much time in this test match. Of more concern will the 22 yards. We think the West Indies will leave some grass on the surface to keep it spicy but that will not change the underlying nature of the pitch.
A bit of life upfront will give way to a slow surface where batting should be easy and the spinners will come into play from the third day onwards.
The West Indies has won five out of the last five test matches played against Bangladesh. The last of those matches, though, was played in 2014. We think that Bangladesh has improved since then and should be able to post a better challenge to the West Indies.
Bangladesh is currently being offered at almost 4 times return and we think that is worth taking a risk on them.
Back Bangladesh to win.
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