WI vs BAN, 1st Test, Preview: Hosts keen on building the momentum against the Tigers
Shakib Al Hasan is back in Tests for the visitors.
Published - Jul 3, 2018 8:41 pm | Updated - Jul 3, 2018 8:41 pm
The eighth and ninth-ranked Test teams will face-off in the first of the two-match Test series in Antigua. The fact that two of the low ranked teams are playing a series augurs well for the longest format of the game and proves that they are looking to improve. Windies and Bangladesh, both have been struggling in the Tests of late and the first game will be all about how the visitors counter the threat of the fast bowlers.
Jason Holder must have been proud of the efforts put in by his team during Sri Lanka series and hope that they continue in the same vein against the Asian side as well. The combination of the team looks set but the batsmen have to be more consistent, the lack of which cost them the day-night Test match. They are well-versed to the conditions and are expected to dominate the opposition who are not known to travel well especially in the whites.
Shakib Al Hasan has made a comeback to the Test side after missing the series against Sri Lanka. He lends a great balance to the team and no wonder will be chuffed to don the white jersey for his country again. Their last away series in South Africa was a forgettable one and there is certainly a lot of room for improvement in the bowling department. They have kept faith in the similar kind of attack and they will step up to the task to be able to go past the Caribbean outfit which is oozing with confidence.
Windies have retained the same squad which played against Sri Lanka last month and it is likely that the same XI might be fielded from the third Test. There might be a temptation to play Shimron Hetmyer who scored a stellar 123 in the warm-up game against the visitors but Devon Smith will have to be benched.
The likes of Jason Holder and Roston Chase have performed their job of all-rounders exceptionally well even as the bowling attack led by Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach is looking menacing as ever. The Man of the previous series Shane Dowrich is also in the red-hot form and expect him to continue batting at 5.
Probable XI: Kraig Brathwaite, Devon Smith/Shimron Hetmyer, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Shane Dowrich (wk), Roston Chase, Jason Holder (c), Kemar Roach, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel, Miguel Cummins
The Tigers played their last Test back in February and they lost that game by a whopping 215 runs which suggests there will be changes to the playing XI. The return of the captain Shakib should definitely bolster them with Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mominul Haque are expected to shoulder the responsibilities of the batting line-up.
The problem for them overseas has been the fast bowling which fails to pick wickets up front with the new ball. The selectors have restored faith on the same group which played Sri Lanka. In the absence of Mustafizur Rahman, the onus will be on Shafiul Islam and Rubel Hossain.
Probable XI: Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mominul Haque, Shakib Al Hasan (c), Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Liton Das (wk), Shafiul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Taijul Islam, Nazuml Hossain Shanto
Focus will be on
Shane Dowrich (Windies)
Shane Dowrich emerged as the best batsman for Windies in the last series and he will be in focus again. He bats at 5 or 6 and can tire out the opposition bowlers to eke out the runs later. He is looking determined as ever he has been in his career so far. A lot will depend on how he will fare against the accurate spinners of the visitors as there will be a lesser threat from the fast bowlers.
Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh)
The skipper is playing after a significant break in the Tests and he will have to lead from the front immediately. He will bat at number 4 which will lend balance and it is imperative for him to score big and then should also spin a web around the batsmen of the opposition. Bangladesh will be able to compete only if Shakib plays his best cricket on this tour.
Head to Head
Played – 12 | Windies – 8, Bangladesh – 2, Draw– 2
3985 – Tamim Iqbal is only 15 runs away from becoming the first Bangladesh Test player to score 4000 runs.
TV – Gazi TV (Bangladesh)
Live streaming– Sony LIV (India)
Match Timings: 19:30 IST, 14:00 GMT