As the world of cricket turns into the new year of 2021, a semblance of normalcy returns amidst the battle with Covid-19 as cricketing nations start to tour again full-fledged. Thus, the West Indies tour of Bangladesh has been a high point of the year already with an action-packed ODI series where the host nation routed the visitors in all the three matches to comfortably clinch the series. But retribution might come for the visitors in the form of the two-match test series.
As is the norm in these times, both the teams have been placed in secure bio-bubbles so as to eliminate the spread of the Coronavirus. Cricket fans of both countries should be thankful to their respective cricket boards for making such security arrangements for this tour.
Bangladesh Vs West Indies 1st Test Match Preview
The first test will take place from the 3rd of February, 2021 at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the southeastern city of Chattogram. The weather is expected to remain warm for all five days of the test. However, eyes will be on the pitch for the match with speculation rife that the pitch will be a typical subcontinent turner favouring the spinners. This might put a dent in the hope of the touring West Indies side not used to playing on turning tracks. Recent history is also not on the side of the visitors who were whitewashed 2-0 in their previous test series in Bangladesh back in 2018.
Team Selection West Indies
After being practically blown away in the entertaining ODI series. The West Indies side is much changed for the test series. Led by batsman Kraigg Braithwaite; the West Indies side are not really at full power with many experienced players like batsmen Shimron Hetmyer; Shane Dowrich and spinners Devendra Bishop, Roston Chase – all missing this tour.
The new, inexperienced side had a decent practice match against the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI with captain Braithwaite and opener John Campbell scoring runs. Other batsmen like Kyle Mayers, Nkrumah Bonner and Joshua Da Silva also got runs and boosted their confidence.
The bowlers too got overs and wickets in their spell during the practice match with Rahkeem Cornwall picking up five wickets in the BCB XI’s first innings while Jomel Warrican taking three. All-rounder Raymon Reifer performed well with both the bat and bowl scoring 49 in the first innings and taking 2 wickets.
In order to win this match; the West Indies pace attack must be prepared to take 10 wickets in the innings. The onus will be on veteran fast bowler Kemar Roach and spinner Rahkeem Cornwall to lead the attack. However, the bowlers can do so only so much unless there are runs on the board. With batsmen like Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, and Shamarh Brooks missing along with the previously mentioned absentees; it remains to be seen whether Kraigg Braithwaite and his middle-order can deliver.
West Indies Test Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), John Campbell, Jermaine Blackwood. Sheyne Moseley, Nkrumah Bonner, Kavem Hodge, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Kyle Mayers. Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Raymon Reifer, Rahkeem Cornwall, Veerasammy Permaul, Jomel Warrican.
Team Selection Bangladesh
Unlike their counterparts, Bangladesh are at their full squad strength with Nominal Haque captaining their side. The side boasts of players like Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman. What will also come as a boost for fans of Bangladesh is all-rounder Shakib has been declared fit to play. Despite suffering a groin injury during the last ODI against West Indies. Spinners Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Taijul Islam will also be looking to get wickets. After their impressive showing in West Indies’s last tour of Bangladesh in 2018.
Bangladesh Test Squad: Mominul Haque (c), Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Najmul Hossain Shanto; Mushfiqur Rahim (wk), Mohammad Mithun, Liton Das (wk), Yasir Ali. Saif Hassan, Mustafizur Rahman; Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Taijul Islam, Shadman Islam, Nayeem Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Jayed, Ebadat Hossain, Hasan Mahmud.
A strong Bangladesh side may be the favourites to win this match against a much depleted West Indies side. But you can never say what happens in a cricket match. The West Indies side have been battered in the ODI series. They may be motivated enough to pull a comeback against a full-strength Bangladesh side playing at home.