Jul 22, 2018 Sports
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – Fresh from their domination of Bangladesh in the recent two-Test series, West Indies will switch formats but hope to sustain their winning momentum when they take on the tourists in the first of three One-Day Internationals starting here today.
While neither of the two Tests went the distance as Bangladesh’s batting capitulated weakly in Antigua and Jamaica, the Tigers are expected to put up a stronger showing in the shorter format in which they are more at home and are ranked seventh – two places higher than the Windies.
They were good enough to reach the final of the Tri-Nations Series involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe last January, and also clinched a semi-final spot in last year’s Champions Trophy before bowing out.
West Indies Jason Holder told reporters here yesterday he was under no illusions about the danger posed by the Bangladeshis but stressed the importance of executing team plans.
“We know they are a better white-ball team probably than a red-ball team and they’ve got some quality in players in their line-up,” Holder noted.
“But I think we’ve got to just plan well for them. I think we’ve done a bit of thinking and a bit of planning towards where we want to go and accomplish, so it’s about executing. I think execution plays a big part of it and hopefully our guys can come tomorrow and execute from ball one.”
West Indies will also need to shake off their own rustiness, having not played an ODI since the World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe last March.
The likes of superstars Twenty20 superstars Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis and Andre Russell have returned to the 13-man squad while Jason Holder and Rovman Powell are fresh off the Windies A tour in England.
And Holder believes with most of the squad having played competitive cricket over the last four months, West Indies should not be at any disadvantage with the change of formats.
“The mood in the camp is pretty good. Obviously we have had some time off since the last ODI series which would have been the World Cup qualifiers,” he explained.
“The guys played some cricket before then. We’ve had many of the guys playing in T20 leagues around the world, some guys have played A-team cricket and some other guys have been involved in Test cricket so everybody has been playing cricket.
“I think everybody is ready to go and hopefully we can start this series well tomorrow.”
The Windies’ recent ODI record is hardly stellar. In fact, last year alone they registered a mere three wins in 23 outings – whitewashed by New Zealand last December and hammered 4-0 by England in a five-match series four months prior.
Though they reached the final of the World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe, they were hardly convincing either, twice losing to Afghanistan, just edging minnows Zimbabwe, and needing the luck of Duckworth/Lewis to beat lowly Scotland in an all-important second round match.
West Indies, though, have beaten Bangladesh in seven of their last 11 meetings, sweeping them 3-0 the last time they meet in the Caribbean four years ago.
However, Holder said improvement would be necessary if his side were to come out on top in the series.
“I think all three departments we’ve got to tighten up on,” said Holder, adjudged Man-of-the-Series in the recent Tests.
“Rotation of strike in the middle overs is key for us – we’ve fell down in the past there and they’ve got a lot of slow bowlers as well which we’ve probably struggled to rotate the [batting against].
“Obviously our fielding can also improve as well and our death bowling – these are the areas that I’ve pinpointed in the dressing room and hopefully our fellas can go out and put things right from the last time we would have played.”
From the Test series, the Windies have also retained stroke-makers Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer and Kieran Powell, leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo and rookie pacer Keemo Paul, whose only four ODIs came in the World Cup qualifiers.
Russell, who served a year-long anti-doping drugs whereabouts ban in 2017, is also back in the squad for the first time in three years, with fast bowler Alzarri Joseph also returning after recovering from a stress fracture which sidelined him since last December.
The second ODI is also carded for the National Stadium on Wednesday, with the third set for Warner Park in St Kitts next Saturday.
SQUADS: WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Kieran Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Mohammed, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Andre Russell, Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph.
BANGLADESH – Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), Shakib Al Hasan (vice-captain), Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Nazmul Islam, Nazmul Hossain, Mehidy Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Hider, Abu Jayed.
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