DHAKA, – A morally down Bangladesh will take on high-flying West Indies to kick-off their tri-nation series campaign tomorrow at the Castle Avenue in Dublin.
Bangladesh made a disappointing start to their Ireland tour by tasting a humiliating 88-run defeat to Ireland Wolves, a second string team of Ireland in their only practice game on Sunday. West Indies on the other hand crushed hosts Ireland by a mammoth 196 runs to kick-start their campaign emphatically.
That their gigantic victory came without their four frontline players, spoke a volume of their strength when many had already written off the Caribbean side’s chances in the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup.
The tri-nation series is however seen as the perfect preparation camp for both Bangladesh and West Indies. Hosts Ireland didn’t qualify to this year’s World Cup.
West Indies rewrote the record books on the way to their emphatic victory over the hosts. Their opener Shai Hope and John Campbell put on a 365-run for the opening stand, the biggest in ODI history with Campbell hammering 179 while Hope striking a marvelous 170.
West Indies’ outstanding performance in the tri-series opener created a massive headache to Bangladesh camp even though they had recently recorded victory over West Indies in consecutive two bilateral series at home and away. In both times they won the three-match series by 2-1, establishing their firm dominance over the Caribbean side.
The two sides so far faced off each other 34 times with West Indies still leading the ladder having won 21 matches so far. Bangladesh though won 11 matches, most of them came in the recent time, helping them to leapfrog West Indies in the ICC ODI rankings too. The rest of the two matches produced no result.
But this West Indies side looked a brand new side who has some speedster in their kitty. All of the West Indies pacer-Sheldon Cotrell, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel-possesses raw and can hit the deck with 150 KM. The pace is something that made the difference in their match against Ireland. While Irish medium pacers were taken into disdain, the Irish batsmen couldn’t have any answer to the raw of the West Indian fast bowlers.
To the dismay of Bangladesh, no pacers can clock over even 140 KM. Those last two bilateral series that they won against West Indies were played in slow pitches, which Bangladeshi pacers and spinners savoured. But if the pitch that was sued in the match between Ireland and West Indies, is used in Bangladesh’s match, the Tigers would face uphill task.
However amid the defeat in the practice game, Bangladesh’s two leading pacers-Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hossain showed some promise. Both of them were expensive but Taskin scalped three while Rubel took two wickets to show their form.
Skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza who didn’t play the practice match is set to lead the side in the match against West Indies. Farhad Reza is likely to pave the way of Mashrafe’s return to the fold.
Pace bowler Mustafizur Rahman is unlikely to play the game given his injury concern, meaning Bangladesh apart from Farhad Reza will go with the same squad that played the practice game against Ireland Wolves on Sunday.