Shakib al Hasan said the first innings will be crucial, and believes their batsmen can score big here and give the team a good start to the series
Bangladesh will lock horns with the visiting West Indies in the first of two Test matches, at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, Thursday.
The recent Test series was not great for the Tigers as they suffered a humiliating loss against Zimbabwe in Sylhet earlier this month.
But they bounced back in the second match and leveled the series on a high note as the batsmen scored plenty of runs ahead of a more challenging series against the Windies.
Bangladesh made quite a few changes to the squad that played against Zimbabwe, as regular captain Shakib al Hasan returned to the national fold after recovering from his left index finger injury.
During the pre-match press conference Wednesday, Shakib expressed a bit of confusion regarding his participation as playing five-day cricket after such an injury could be very much challenging for him.
The openers did not perform well in the Zimbabwe series, and as a result, the BCB made some changes in the top-order, replacing Liton Kumar Das and Nazmul Hossain Shanto with Soumya Sarker and rookie Shadman Islam.
Captain Shakib praised all the three opening options, also including Imrul Kayes, but hinted that the team management could opt for experience.
In that regard, Imrul and Soumya could be given the nod to open the innings Thursday.
Bangladesh are ready for a tougher challenge against the West Indies as they have a good pace bowling attack, despite the absence of skipper Jason Holder for the whole series.
Shakib believes the Tigers are used to such challenges in their home conditions, and is expecting a competitive series ahead.
“We did not perform well against Zimbabwe in the first Test. And we will definitely face more challenges against the West Indies. It will be tougher in batting, bowling or the mental aspects. But I believe, we are used to facing such challenges. This series is important for us as both the teams are close in the Test ranking. We are confident that we will perform better in the series,” Shakib said during the pre-match press conference at ZACS Wednesday.
The Windies have arrived in Bangladesh straightaway after finishing a long tour of India.
Playing against Bangladesh in similar conditions will certainly give them a bit of an advantage against the home side.
Stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite is of the opinion that the Windies can produce positive results, despite losing the in-form Holder to injury.
“We have come from India after playing series there, so it’s a bit of advantage for us as the condition is quite similar. Also, we have played the two-day practice match here. That put us in a good state of preparation for the series. As a unit, we need to follow the plans to produce good result,” said Brathwaite.
The wickets in Chittagong are usually conducive for the batsmen.
The last time a Test match was held here, between Bangladesh against Sri Lanka back in January-February this year, plenty of runs were scored by both the teams.
However, the Tigers batsmen are not in a good run of form in Test cricket recently, apart from their last game.
@BCBtigers Test captain @Sah75official has informed that his participation in the first Test match against the West Indies at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, starting Thursday, is still in a little bit of doubt.https://t.co/wpWecrqopA#BCBTIGERS #BCB #TIGERS #BANGLADESH #WINDIES— Dhaka Tribune Sports (@Sport_DT) November 21, 2018
Shakib said the first innings will be crucial, and believes their batsmen can score big here and give the team a good start to the series.
“Definitely, we will try score a good team total here. We need to score 300-plus at least. If the wicket is batting-friendly, then we will definitely try to score 400-500 here, particularly in the first innings. Everyone is focusing on scoring big at this wicket,” Shakib concluded.
The match will start at 9:30am local time.
Bangladesh Head to head West Indies
14 Tests 14
2 Wins 10
14.28 Win % 71.42
2 Draws 2
14.28 Draw % 14.28
Tamim Iqbal (750) Most runs Shivnarine Chanderpaul (897)
Tamim (128) HS Ramnaresh Sarwan (261*)
Shakib al Hasan (37) Most wickets Kemar Roach (30)
Shakib (6/33) BBI Jermaine Lawson (6/3)