Preview: Having suffered a 2-0 series whitewash in the Test series against Bangladesh, the Windies will be keen to bounce back when the ODI series gets underway on Sunday at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
Bangladesh were rarely troubled by the visitors during the Test series but the West Indies are a competitive side in limited overs cricket, even managing to win an ODI against India last month.
With the 2019 ICC World Cup looming in the background, the Windies are still in the process of not only figuring out their best line-up but also blooding a number of youngsters in a bid to build for the future.
Thus, the return of Darren Bravo, Roston Chase and T20I skipper Carlos Brathwaite will boost the West Indies squad and add some much-needed firepower in the batting department.
However, the home side will also welcome Shakib-Al-Hasan and Tamim Iqbal back into the fold. Neither Shakib nor Tamim have featured for Bangladesh in ODIs after the Asia Cup when both suffered injuries.
While Shakib picked up a hand infection that eventually needed treatment, Tamim suffered two fractures to his wrist during their opening match against Sri Lanka and was ruled out of the tournament.
Shakib captained the side during the Test series and while he looked decent in patches, he admitted that he would only be back to his full rhythm during the ODI series as he was still getting used to the rigours of bowling.
As for Tamim, he was in fine form during the Windies’ only tour game ahead of the ODIs, scoring 107 in 73 balls as the BCB XI went on to win the match by 51 runs (DLS).
The warm-up game loss means the Windies go into the game slightly bereft on momentum, but their main challenge will be on negating the Bangladeshi spinners.
Test cricket is a different beast altogether yet it is worth noting that the Windies batsmen looked uneasy against spin during their ODIs and T20Is against India as well and will need to put their spin demons to rest if they are to stand any chance of winning the series.
Their batting line-up is talented yet inconsistency and has a tendency to go for the risky options a lot, meaning Bangladesh’s bowlers will fancy their chances going up against them.
There’s also the small fact that Bangladesh are a far more complete side in limited overs cricket and are a tough side to beat at home.
Bangladesh have won 11 ODIs out of the 17 they have played this year, with eight of those wins coming at home.
A series win for the away team would be quite an upset, but they would do well to show some fight and promise in what will be challenging conditions.
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First Published: December 9, 2018, 12:10 PM IST