WI cautious of Bangladesh’s resurgence; Mortaza wants to play positive cricket
By Akeem Greene
In the two-Test series, Bangladesh were easily swept and none of the matches went the full duration. The tide has turned, the colour of the ball and the clothes have changed.
It has changed to a format where Bangladesh have been lethal over the past two years.
Let’s just remember the Asian side qualified easily for the 2017 champions trophy ahead of West Indies and did not have play qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup but West Indies did. They are currently ranked seventh in ODIs by the ICC; West Indies are ninth.
For those reasons, Windies captain Jason Holder is wary of the increased threat the opposition will pose on Sunday when the first of the three-match One Day International (ODI) series is contested at the National Stadium, Providence.
“We know they are a better white ball team and they got quality players. We just have to execute our plans, improve on our death bowling and fielding”, Holder stated on the eve of the nineteenth ODI at Providence.
The match marks great significant for the hosts as it is the first ODI since the qualifiers in March and will also be the first of sixteen matches in the lead up to the event.
In the quest to leave no stones unturned before the mega event, the Barbadian wants this series and others to come to be a dress rehearsal and the most fitting attire will be consistency.
“We need consistency, we have not been consistent in any format for a while; we definitely need to attack. The benchmark now is 300 and that is something we set our sights on. I definitely believe if we get such scores we give our bowlers a chance”.
The highest score at Providence is 309-6 which was achieved by West Indies in 2017 against Pakistan when they had their highest successful ODI chase. The re-laid pitches have moved the norm of low and slow to pace and bounce.
“It seems a pretty good wicket, las time we played against Pakistan it was high scoring so hopefully it holds up and we will decide on team selection tomorrow”.
For the visitors, their captain Mashrafe Mortaza is hoping the new faces wipe the painful memories of the Test series away and they play to full potential against an imperious Windies.
Mortaza, who was a doubt for the series due to him wanting to stay by his wife’s side during her ailment, explained he is focused and wants to settle on the right combination.
“We have to be positive, we have to do what we can, bowl in the right areas. If we can do better from the Tests would be great. We are working hard and learning from the mistakes of the Tests and hopefully we do well tomorrow”, the inspirational captain stated.
Since the World Cup in 2007, Bangladesh have not played an ODI at Providence and the 34-year-old posited 260-280 would be a good score to defend.
Ahead of the World Cup in England, the Bangladeshis have 20-25 matches and for Mortaza, he wants to see the younger batsmen step up and play significant roles to support the star trio of Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim.
Sunday’s match is scheduled to commence at 09:30h.
West Indies squad: Jason Holder (capt), Devendra Bishoo, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell.
Bangladesh Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza (capt), Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mahmudullah, Mosaddek Hossain, Nazmul Hossain Shanto, Mehidy Hassan Miraz, Nazmul Islam, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Hider, Abu Jayed